Decision Maker Response

Nick Xenophon’s response

Jun 30, 2016 — Senator Nick Xenophon has called on the Coalition to scrap its planned budget cuts to aged care funding and for Labor to revoke its support for the measures which will put lives at risk and cause massive cost blowouts to the nation’s health system.

Senator Xenophon said if re-elected he will move for the legislative measures to be delayed until there is a Senate Inquiry into the sector.

“Talking to the not-for-profit sector indicates that there are many unintended consequences in respect of the cuts, and the actual effect of the cuts will be closer to $1.8billion over the next four years,” Nick said.

“If there has been any rorting of the current CHC payments then that needs to be dealt with forensically rather than penalising the overwhelming majority of providers who are doing the right thing.

“There is no doubt that there will simply be cost shifting between the Commonwealth to the states as more aged care facilities will be unable to treat complex health care (CHC) patients because payments have been slashed and they will be pushed on to the state health system.

“Considering that differences of about $165 a day in Commonwealth funding compared to $1000 in a hospital, it is the worst sort of false economy. There needs to be a sensible review of the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) and for the government to pause these cuts immediately.”