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AAG Position Paper: Aged care workforce, funding and governance

On 31 July 2020, AAG published a Position Paper on aged care workforce, funding and governance. The development of this paper was led by AAG's Ageing, Workforce and Education Special Interest Group (AWESIG).

This paper provides a series of fundamental position statements building on years of AAG member forums, discussions, submissions and other papers, as well as a consideration of the work of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

Download the AAG Position Paper: Aged care workforce, funding and governance

Overview of AAG Position Paper on aged care workforce, funding and governance

In this paper, AAG states that the Government has a responsibility to act as a system steward and ensure taxpayer-funded aged care services are underpinned by evidence-based policy with a human-rights rather than a market-based foundation. Aged care, health and social care should be available to all Australians. In order for this to be achieved, funding and information barriers that are currently preventing primary-, secondary- and tertiary health, aged care, and social service systems from integrating effectively to meet the needs of older Australians must be removed.

AAG believes all Australians need to invest in current and future aged care requirements now and supports funding options (in addition to general revenue) that relate to public funding schemes with funds that are reserved for aged care specifically where everyone contributes according to their level of wealth. In addition, there is a need to review how income and assets (including, for example, the value of any property) are considered when determining any aged care co-contributions by service users of all aged care programs.

AAG members call for Government funds for aged care services, including assessment of eligibility, funding and needs, being provided on a no-profit basis. That is, funds should be used solely and entirely for the purpose intended. Other income-generating activities of businesses could be profited from (e.g. voluntary contributions or additional services purchased by clients) but must be delineated from Government-funded services and clearly documented in client agreements.

There must be appropriate funding and systems to ensure the inclusion of skilled health professionals (including geriatricians, General Practitioners, nurses and other medical professionals) and allied health professionals in aged care needs assessments, case management, and support provision across all aged care settings and programs. Within aged care, holistic, multidisciplinary aged care underpinned by workforce planning, including minimum staffing levels and appropriate skills mixes is needed.

Noting that workforce issues cannot be resolved until there is sustainable and remuneration and funding of aged care, the paper also presents AAG positions on workforce remuneration, employment conditions, career opportunities, leadership, registration schemes for non-clinical staff, as well as how to raise the skills, knowledge and competencies of all aged care staff.

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