Aged Care Industry Newsletter 26 April 2006


Thursday, 28 June 2007

If you're buying or selling Aged Care -
NSW clubs on track to provide aged-care housing

Friday, 15 June 2007
Australian Broadcasting Commission

The New South Wales Government has released a draft planning policy that would allow clubs to develop aged-care housing.

The default zoning policy would permit clubs to use their land to provide seniors accommodation, but only if the site is not zoned public-open-space.

The policy has been developed in response to a review ordered in 2005.

A spokeswoman for the Planning Minister, Frank Sartor, says the policy will help make better use of club sites, and meet the growing demand for aged-care housing in well serviced and centrally located areas.

Welfare groups disapprove

Welfare groups have expressed concerns about the proposal.

Michelle Burrell, from the New South Wales Council for Social Service, says there are a number of reasons to be concerned about the plan.

"The first obvious one is that we want to make sure that we don't have a 'catch-it' audience for gambling and the co-location of poker machines so close to people's housing," she said.

"We're also concerned that the clubs don't profit from having that 'catch-it' audience so close to a gambling site."

High level aged care residents 'up 19%

Saturday, 16 June 2007
West Australian

The number of aged care residents needing high level care has jumped by almost 19 per cent in less than a decade, a new report reveals.

The report, released on Friday by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, shows 69 per cent of permanent residents required high levels of care in June 2006.

This was a jump of 18.9 per cent, or 11 percentage points, from 1998, when 58 per cent of residents required high levels of care.

Over the same period, the number of aged people requiring low levels of supervision dropped.

"The proportion of residents requiring low level care has declined from 38 per cent to 31 per cent, coinciding with a period of significant expansion in community aged care packages which are designed for the same client group," the Institute's Ann Peut said.

The Residential Aged Care in Australia report shows there were 154,872 aged care residents in 2006, and residential aged care places had increased to 166,291.

Some 53 per cent of the residents were 85 years or over and about four per cent were under 65.

Women were in the majority at 72 per cent, and 58 per cent of the female residents were over 85.

Men in care were younger, with 38 per cent over the age of 85.

The report found the most common reason for "separation" or leaving an aged care home was death, accounting for 87 per cent.

The average length of stay for permanent residents who had left residential care was 167.4 weeks for women and 109.2 weeks for men.

The report also showed the size of residential aged care facilities was growing, with an average of 60 places per facility in 2006 compared with about 46 places in 1998.

Religious organisations provided 29 per cent of residential aged care services, private providers accounted for 26 per cent, community-based providers 17 per cent and charitable organisations 15 per cent.

Health costs on the rise

Sunday, 24 June 2007
Sunday Mail

A REPORT accusing the Federal Government of failing its responsibilities on health care will be released today by state and territory health ministers.

SA Health Minister John Hill says the report paints a "disturbing" picture nationally of rising health costs, GP shortages and elderly people forced into hospitals due to a lack of aged-care facilities.
The report card on the Government's performance, Caring For Our Health?, examines the Federal Government's funding of GPs, specialists, public hospitals, medicine and private health insurance.

Mr Hill claimed figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare indicated the Federal Government is now under-funding public hospitals by $1.1 billion a year. The report said an extra 350,000 patients a year could be admitted to hospital if they were adequately funded.

"The Federal Government is failing Australians we have a shortage of GPs, and health costs are rising," Mr Hill said.

"Australians are paying more than ever for health care, while our public hospitals are under-funded by the Commonwealth."

Among the findings:

BULK billing rates are lower than they were 10 years ago;

THE average out-of-pocket cost of seeing a GP has risen by about 60 per cent in 10 years;

THE out-of-pocket cost of seeing a specialist has risen by about 54 per cent since 1997;

COSTS of health care are rising at rates higher than inflation.

In 2006, there were about 2300 older people in hospitals who should be in an aged-care facility.

Mr Hill said there needed to be better co-operation between the Federal Government and the states and territories to plan for the future health needs.

The ageing population and medical workforce were two major challenges.

Federal Health Minister Tony Abbot rejected claims the Federal Government is failing the community on health, saying "it is patently not true", and called on the states and territories to get their own spending in order.

He said more patients could be admitted to hospital if the states invested more money.

"Under the life of the current health care agreement there will be a 16 per cent real increase in Commonwealth funding," he said. "We are doing more than our job."

Abbott blames states over hospital funds

Monday, 25 June 2007

Funding hospitals is a state responsibility and they are only now recognising they haven't done enough, Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott says.

He said the federal government had fully honoured its obligations under the 2003 Commonwealth-state health care agreements and any shortfall in funding was not its fault.

"The states have belatedly started to increase funding to the public hospitals and good on them for doing that," he told ABC radio.

"The states have belatedly recognised they have got problems and have started to properly fund their hospitals over the last couple of years.

"It is not our job to suddenly start putting more money in. It is the states' job because they run public hospitals."

A report released on Sunday, compiled by the state and territory governments using statistics from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), found the commonwealth was underfunding health by $1.1 billion a year and that the cost of seeing a GP or a specialist has risen 60 per cent in 10 years.

It concluded health care had become less affordable and less accessible.

Mr Abbott said it was very easy for the opposition to blame the federal government for the number of elderly people occupying hospital rather than nursing home beds.

He said the number of nursing home aged care places had risen from 145,000 in 1996 to 208,000 now.

"But we haven't got something like 50 per cent more older people in just a decade," he said.

The ratio of aged care places to the numbers of older people has increased dramatically from under 100 per 1,000 to about 110 per 1,000.

"So there are more places and the ratios have improved."

Mr Abbott said the problem was that the states tried to run their public hospitals with 100 per cent occupancy.

"Anyone who has tried to run a hotel would know you have go to have a bit of a surge capacity and the bean counter in the states just won't let that happen," he said.

Aged Care Sales Australia

Property Services
Kevin Stapleton

Corporate Services
Shane ChambersTencaten

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NSW clubs on track to provide aged-care housing

High level aged care residents 'up 19%

Health costs on the rise

Abbott blames states over hospital funds

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