Shayne Neumann MP
Federal Member for Blair

Australian Labor
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Federal Member for Blair Shayne Neumann has welcomed the commencement of the next stage of reforms in the delivery of home care for older Australians.

The changes, which allow older Australians to choose and change their home care provider are a direct result of Labor’s 2012 Living Longer, Living Better reforms.

“If implemented well these reforms have the capacity to improve the care outcomes of older people in Ipswich and the Somerset Region,” Mr Neumann said.

“These changes continue Labor’s consumer directed care reforms which put older Australians in the driver’s seat of their own health care.

“It is a testament to the strength of Labor’s ten year reform strategy that this agenda is continuing to deliver for older Australians.”

Mr Neumann warned that poor implementation and underinvestment by the Turnbull Liberal Government may undermine the benefits of these reforms.

“The Turnbull Liberal Government has done nothing to address wait times of more than six months for ACAT assessments, which are necessary to receive home care,” he said.

“On top of that, this Government has no idea whether the supply of home care packages is sufficient for the growing demand of older Australians.”

A lack of regulation around exit fees for consumers who change providers and the lowering of accreditation standards for aged care providers could threaten the reforms.

“It remains to be seen whether the error-ridden My Aged Care website and hotline can deliver, let alone withstand the changes.

“The complete shut-down of the My Aged Care website for three days to integrate the reforms shows just how fragile the system is to change and how hard it will be to respond to service failures.”

Mr Neumann acknowledged the Department officials and aged care providers who have worked hard to deliver these reforms for the benefit of older Australians, despite a revolving door of Ministers and an increasingly unstable political environment.