The challenge for procurement in the aged care sector is to redesign the operating cost model to ensure high standards of aged care remain affordable indefinitely.
Inevitably, better care will cost more and the vast majority of aged care operators can’t bare such increases easily. And any increases in government funding over the short and medium term will never be enough to cater for our significantly aging population.
Of consideration for the procurement ecosystem is the Federal Government’s announcement for a bolstered funding package for aged care under its National Aged Care Advocacy Program (NACAP) to support greater choice and quality safeguards.
The funding increases from $52.6 million to $151.1 million over four years and includes improved access to face-to-face and virtual aged care, workforce support for 1000 local networking and education sessions, community advocacy and an extension to COVID-19 response activities.
Minister for Aged Care, Senator The Hon Richard Colbeck, who announced the funding package, will open PASA’s 7th Annual Aged Care Procurement Conference streaming live and attended in-person from Sydney’s Royal Randwick Racecourse on March 23 and 24 2022.
Mr Colbeck will outline the challenge facing the procurement profession in this sector as seen by the Morrison Government.
“An expanded National Aged Care Advocacy Program will ensure those seeking support are empowered to make informed decisions about their care, understand their rights, and have support to resolve complaints when they arise, in a time of great change,” Mr Colbeck said about the funding package.
Another challenge for the aged sector, as highlighted earlier this year by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA), is the dire shortage of aged care workers which needs needs immediate attention.
It’s a key consideration for procurement professional as 17,000 more direct aged-care workers are needed each year in the next decade to meet basic standards.
The lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and changes in aged care protocols are here to stay. The common denominator of both the Royal Commission and the pandemic is the desire to raise standards of care for older Australians.
The new role for procurement in aged care will be unpacked at PASA’s Aged Care Procurement Conference. The event has again attracted the largest gathering in the country aged care procurement leaders and their teams.
Register now for PASA’s 7th Annual Aged Care Procurement Conference.