Joint Media Release from Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians Senator The Hon Richard Colbeck and Senator The Hon Sarah Henderson
Residential aged care providers will benefit from an additional COVID-19 specific support package totalling $205 million under targeted measures announced by the Morrison Government.
It takes the total COVID-19 specific Federal Government funding for aged care to more than $850 million.
Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck and Senator Sarah Henderson welcomed the latest injection of funds aimed at ensuring aged care providers in regional Victoria can offer reinforced levels of safety and care.
“These measures are aimed protecting the most vulnerable people in our community,” Minister Colbeck said.
“We are facing an extraordinary health challenge and we need to work together to protect the people we loved most.
“This is about keeping those people in residential aged care, protected and safe.”
The announcement comes as National Cabinet assessed an aged care sector code of conduct for visitations to ensure residents can not only be kept safe but continue to receive the social and emotional support they need from their families at this time.
The payment – to all Commonwealth funded residential aged care providers – will be linked to the number of residents being cared for by each facility, and is aimed at covering the additional costs of caring for the health and wellbeing of residents during the pandemic.
The costs include additional staffing, training, supporting visitations and connections and the provision of personal protective equipment.
Facilities outside major metropolitan areas will receive a 50 per cent loading to cover the additional costs of providing care in these areas.
Providers will receive around $900 per resident in major metropolitan areas and around $1350 per resident in all other areas.
Senator Henderson said it was another measure to reinforce the sector and protect our loved ones in care across regional Victoria.
“These measures help reassure families across regional Victoria that everything is being done to look after their loved ones during this most difficult time,” Senator Henderson said.
The latest round of funding follows the $235 million retention bonus paid to residential and home care workers to strengthen the workforce during the pandemic.
Additionally, funding announced in March includes $78 million for residential care to support continuity of workforce supply.
The Business Improvement Fund has also been extended for another year with $48 million in support.
“This payment will ensure providers continue to invest in COVID-19 preparedness to protect the people in their care,” Senator Henderson said.
“We are seeing how devastating the impact of COVID-19 can be if there is an outbreak in an aged care facility.
“While Australia is doing well by international comparison, we must remain vigilant – particularly in residential aged care to protect some of our most vulnerable Australians.”
6 May 2020.