Additional reforms to Australia’s aged care sector following a damning royal commission are aimed at changing the culture from “top down”.
Federal Minister for Health Greg Hunt has introduced into parliament the second tranche of aged care reforms including screening for aged care workers and an enforceable code of conduct.
The bill also introduces a new model for residential aged care funding to start from October 2022.
Hunt said the government’s reforms would boost transparency, accountability and change culture “from the top down”.
“This is landmark reform. This is reform which will save lives protect lives and improve lives,’ he told parliament on Wednesday.
The changes include allowing the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner to create and enforce a code of conduct for providers and workers.
Under the reforms, the commissioner will have greater power to respond to breaches of the code and disclose protected information to bodies tasked with screening workers.
Regulation of home care providers, including for incidents or abuse and neglect, will also increase.
A recalculation of residential aged care subsidies is aimed at ensuring higher payments for accommodation costs for people with fewer assets or on lower incomes.
The coalition has committed $17.7 billion to the sector over four years, but that’s been criticised as inadequate.
The royal commission was previously told of neglect and abuse of aged care residents.
At least one-in-three aged and home care recipients were found to have experienced substandard care.