Aged Care Crisis? 2016
The government is set to cut $2 Billion in funding from the Aged Care Budget over the next 4 years. Private client contributions only make up 7% approximately of age care spending. Over the next 10 years aged care projected costs will double by $2 Billion per year. The cuts come because some providers were overcharging and making up non-existent charges. The cuts will erode support for care, not accomodation fees, but they
target patients with the highest care needs.
Population Aging Research suggests the politically fraught position of examining housing wealth i.e. the family home, to pay for the funding gaps. However many people already sell their homes in order to move into residential care. Despite an increase in profits by up to 6% in the previous 12 months. Providers put up their charges to make up the shortfall in government subsidies to the shock of their investors who hammered the shares by up to 50% as analyts downgraded the Providers’ stock. The government has since put a cap on fees for care that providers can charge.
The real question to ask is a moral and ethical one in this case. Should private companies who pay investor dividends be subsidised by taxpayers’ money? Should listed companies be involved in social welfare making a profit out of the vulnerability of people in their frail old age? You have to question if for profit Providers’ accountability of care is lacking when their main concern is profit rather than welfare. Non-profit providers who do not have investors as their main priority should be the only ones receiving government taxpayer subsidies.