Tasmania will need an almost 103 per cent increase in the number of aged care packages by 2027 or see a crisis for Tasmania’s older residents, warned a coalition of 28 peak aged care organisations today.
The National Aged Care Alliance recently launched the Australians Deserve to Age Well campaign calling for
urgent reform to Australia’s ailing aged care sector – http://www.agewellcampaign.com.au.
Maxine Griffiths of COTA Tasmania said it was time the Government took action to plan for the future of all
Australians and show the leadership needed to fix the system now.
“In Tasmania there are currently approximately 54,900 people over the age of 70. Over the next 15 years
this will increase to over 101,688 placing huge pressure on an already struggling aged care system.
“To just maintain the current levels, Tasmania will need to provide at least 5,837 additional beds and aged
care service packages in 2027. This is a 103 per cent increase on what is currently provided and needs to be
planned for now.
“Add to this the increasing prevalence of people living with dementia, which is expected to almost triple in
Tasmania by 2027, and a declining aged care workforce fed up with low wages and poor conditions, and
you have a recipe for a real crisis.”
Darren Mathewson, Chief Executive Officer, Aged and Community Services Tasmania said the dire situation
was replicated across Australia.
“By 2050 it is predicted that almost one quarter of Australians will be 65 or older.
“And yet we are still dealing with a system designed for the 1960s. The system is incredibly complicated, it
rarely focuses on what older people actually want and costs can vary from state to state and region to
Tim Jacobson, Assistant State Secretary, Heath and Community Services Union Tasmania said the
Productivity Commission had provided a road map for reform which must be followed.
“A more simple, people-focused model which is sustainable into the future is the key to reform as outlined
by the Productivity Commission.
“The Government has now had the report for seven months. We can’t afford to wait any longer. 2012 must
be the year to get the aged care system right so we can all age well – with choice, quality and dignity.”
The National Aged Care Alliance is a representative body of peak organisations in aged care including
consumer groups, providers, unions and health professionals, working together for a more positive future.