CATH NEWS REPORT: The urgency for aged-care reform will not be reduced by the challenge of flood recovery, said the chief executives of Catholic Health Australia and the Council on the Ageing in The Australian.
"Change opportunities come along once every political generation. With the opportunity to fix aged care and put it on a sustainable footing, aged-care consumers and providers are now united about what needs to change and how," wrote Martin Laverty and Ian Yates.
"We're determined not to see this reform opportunity botched, and there is no real reason for the budget deficit to stand in the way.
They said the 20-year plan for aged-care reform recently released by the Productivity Commission "will need debate and deep reading by government, consumers and providers".
"With the commission report prompting the next phase of the aged-care debate, government will likely find that consumers and providers will be able to unite on why change is needed and how change should occur," they wrote.In the interim, Mr Laverty and My Yates "see three main priorities for reform" - providing real service choice to consumers; the aged-care system's complexity and inconsistency; and the "overstretched" system itself.
"This unity of consumers and providers should make the job for the Gillard government in reforming aged care a whole lot easier this year than it was last time in 1997."