The Federal Government is set to deliver $563.3 million to the country’s aged care sector, under increased pressure from COVID-19.
The funding is an extension of the Commonwealth’s package of coronavirus support measures for the sector and brings its funding to more than $1.5 billion since the pandemic began.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt says the funding will be needed by providers to fund and support enhanced infection control capacity, including through on-site medical professionals.
“Funding may also be used to address other COVID-19 related costs such as increased staffing costs, communications with families and managing visitation arrangements,” he explains.
“Providers will be required to report how these funds were used for additional COVID-19 related costs through strict requirements in providers’ end of financial year returns.”
Aged care providers will receive about $975 per resident in major metropolitan areas, and $1435 per resident in all other areas, through Services Australia by early October.
“Aged care workers are continuing to provide invaluable care for our senior Australians,” he says.
“In recognition of the ongoing pressure and challenges, the Australian Government will provide a third Workforce Retention Payment based on employment at 30 November 2020, costing $154.5m.
“This will provide a financial incentive for workers to continue to provide the frontline care that is needed in facilities across the country.”
The Federal Government is also set to expand its support for older Australians who temporarily relocate from residential aged care facilities to the community to live with their family due to concerns about COVID-19, with an additional $71.4m for the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.
More recent news in aged care:
Aged care workers were recently granted two weeks paid pandemic leave to encourage unwell staff to stay at home.
For insight into the the sector, read our feature on the future of aged care.