13 April, 2024

Aged Care Act reform delayed

The new Aged Care Act was slated to come into effect from July 1. However, the Minister for Aged Care Anika Wells announced the Government is considering the extensive feedback provided by the sector and the community, in order to refine and finalise the draft legislation before it is introduced to Parliament.

Aged Care Act reform delayed - feature photo

The Government will now update the commencement date of the legislation following a review of feedback received.

ACCPA CEO Tom Symondson said the new Aged Care Act was pivotal to the transformation of aged care and the sector’s ability to deliver the care we all want to see for older Australians.

“The new Aged Care Act was a fundamental recommendation of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and welcomed by our members,” he said.

“This is a chance to usher in a new era to reform our aged care system, so we need to make sure that the legislation, which will likely govern the aged care sector for the next 30 years, is not rushed.

“This allows more time to engage meaningfully with older people, the community, the sector and other stakeholders.

“It is far more important that the legislation and associated requirements be passed when it is ready, than passed to meet the 1 July date.”

New legislation, with an impact of the magnitude of the new Aged Care Act, needs to be clearly articulated and achievable.

“We have been in ongoing and constructive discussions with the Government around transition timeframes, so that the sector has the time they need to plan for the new requirements under the Act.

“This will ensure the sector meet the expectations of the community.”

While the commencement date is to be confirmed by Government ahead of the introduction of the Bill to Parliament, the timing of the transition of new reforms is also critical.

“We are calling for at least 6 to 12 months transition from the time at which all information is available, including the finalised Act, Rules, guidance and education materials.

“A staged approach to implementation of these new reforms should also be adopted so providers can effectively manage change within their organisations, their workforce and engage with their residents and care recipients.”

“Older Australians deserve nothing less than the confidence that Australia will get this right.”


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