ECCV Aged Care Trend Briefing and Ministerial Visit
An opportunity for members in the ethnic aged care and health care sectors to hear from expert providers and discuss their thoughts.
ECCV hosted an aged care trend briefing on the 16th February. Guest speakers provided a quick snap shot on issues in their their areas of work, and an opportunity was available for Managers and CEOs from a range of organisations to ask questions and discuss issues.
Guest speaker George Lekakis AO CEO of Fronditha Care, provided insight on the challenges that face residential care, particularly from the perspective of ethno-specific care. He noted the increasing demand for culturally appropriate care for the men and women who helped build this country’s economy, and who are now in need of the community’s support. He also spoke of the cost of residential aged care and the profile of the residents who access Fronditha Care’s support services, of whom 60% seek supported places.
The cost of residential care is largely in daily care and the cost of infrastructure. The type of capital grants previously afforded by the Commonwealth to residential care providers no longer exists, significantly affecting newer emerging communities’ opportunities to build the same kinds of infrastructure. While the Productivity Commission’s recommendations provide some possible solutions to this issue, the increasing cost of residential care still remains a significant systems issue which government and community need to grapple with.
Ljubica Petrov’s presentation was a retrospective analysis of the work conducted under the Community Partners Program (CPP) and the function of Partners in Culturally Appropriate Care (PICAC). Ljubica described the subsuming of CPP grants under the new Health and Ageing Grants which collapse 159 small grants into 18 larger, flexible funds. Under this initiative, funds specifically allocated to cultural diversity under the CPP initiative no longer exist, and applicants with a CALD focus will have to compete with all providers big and small for a range of grants in interest areas including:
• Chronic Disease Prevention and Service Improvement Fund;
• Communicable Disease Prevention and Service Improvement Grants Fund;
• Health Systems Capacity Development Fund;
• Aged Care Service Improvement and Healthy Ageing Grants Fund;
• Substance Misuse Prevention and Service Improvement Grants Funds;
• Substance Misuse Service Delivery Grants Fund.
PICAC will be funded for a further two years under this initiative and its future beyond this remains uncertain.
Jeannine Jacobson, Manager HACC and Assessment, Aged Care Branch Department of Health, presented the Departments priority areas for the next triennium which include: Person centred, re-ablement approach to HACC services; Aligning resources with population profiles and the new Need For Assistance formula; and Workforce matters.
The highlight for meeting attendees was the attendance of the Victorian Minister for Health and Minister for Ageing, Hon. David Davis. The Minister addressed the matter of the need for a culturally responsive health and aged care sector, and pointed to ECCV’s submission to the Productivity Commission calling for:
• Support for low income seniors from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
• Improved access through cultural competency of Gateway services and cultural diversity hubs
• Pricing for language services and cultural training for aged care staff
• Allowing scope for such smaller ethnic providers (community and residential) to grow or at least remain viable in an emerging competitive market
The Minister referred to the role of ECCV as a key organisation that the State government looks to for advice of matters relating to cultural diversity and spoke of the work that is currently taking place. Hon. David Davis also announced a three year funding package directed to the ECCV for a CALD Seniors Social Participation Grant project and an Elder Abuse Community Education and Training strategy.
The meeting also provided an opportunity for managers and CEO’s of organisations to network and bring up issues to be advocated for on their behalf to government. We look forward to a year in which this collegiate spirit inspires members of the Aged Care and Health Policy Sub-Committees to continue to work together in our advocacy efforts.
For further information contact Aged Care Policy Officer Galina Kozoolin email@example.com.
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