United Kingdom

Aged care Royal Commission sees government pledge $425million for 'fundamental reform' 

The Federal government will inject $425million to try address the chronic problems in Australia's aged care sector after the final recommendations of the Royal Commission into the sector were handed to the Governor-General, David Hurley.

Announcing the funding package, Prime Minister Scott Morrison called the revelations in the Commission's report 'harrowing' and  'deeply distressing'. 

The Commission has made 148 recommendations to the government after a two-year investigation, including quicker approval of home care packages to clear the current waiting list and restricting the use of anti-psychotic drugs in nursing homes.

The prime minister described the findings as providing a 'once-in-a-generation' opportunity to improve the aged care sector but admitted that addressing them would 'test my government, the budget and test the parliament'. 

Prime Minster Scott Morrison announces his government's response to the findings of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety on Monday

Health Minister Greg Hunt said $18 million would go towards tougher oversight of the government's home care packages, which allow older Australians to continue living at home with extra support.

Some $32 million will go to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission and more regulation on the use of restraints in care.

Nearly $190 million will go to residential care providers and $90 million to create a fund to help facilities facing financial challenges.

At least 1500 additional nursing homes will be audited each year along with improved quality control and more transparent fee structures.

Commissioner Lynelle Briggs presents the findings of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety to Governor-General David Hurley at Admiralty House, Sydney

Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck said the royal commission had made him question how the system works in Australia.

'We need to look at a fundamental reform of the system,' he said. 

Morrison had announced the Royal Commission in 2018 to address well-publicised failures in the system as one of the first acts of his prime ministership. At Monday's press conference he noted the changes recommended by the Commission may take up to five years to implement. 

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