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AGED CARE REFORM: THE TIME IS RIGHT

August 2011

HKendig-small

Professor Hal Kendig blogs for crikey on aged care reform.



We Need More Than Incremental Reform

Since the Productivity Commission's report was launched a week ago, it has attracted headline media attention, widespread support, and some criticism from diverse quarters.

Valuable and largely positive commentary has been provided by the Council on the Ageing, Aged and Community Services Australia, and independent commentaries such as at The Conversation and The Voice.

The stakes are high, given that we have reached breaking point with the tensions and contradictions in an aged care 'system' that has become increasingly out-dated since the 1980s.

While new services and expertise have been developed, more incremental changes just cannot bring about the fundamental changes needed to address services that are fragmented, under-funded, and divided between both levels of governments and the care, health, housing and income support sectors.

Older people in need and their carers find it very difficult to gain access to effective, flexible, quality, and affordable services when they need them - as they choose in their own homes, for the vast majority, or in various forms of accommodation and care for a minority.

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