The Government have boosted funding for aged care services for senior Australians living in rural and remote areas by more than $3 million.

The Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt AM, today announced that 18 services in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia will receive additional funding under the Flexible Aged Care Places Allocations Round for Multi-Purpose Services (MPS).

“This investment will help ensure more senior Australians have access to high-quality, higher-level aged care services,” Minister Wyatt said.

“Multi-Purpose Services play a critical role in small rural communities, many of which cannot support a stand-alone hospital or aged care facility.”

The funding will also support establishment of a new service in Bonalbo, NSW.

“It is important that senior Australians with increasing care needs are able to stay close to friends and family and the communities they have built their lives around,” said Minister Wyatt.

“This funding will allow these MPS to deliver the care that rural, regional and remote seniors deserve.”

The MPS program is a joint initiative between the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments.

“Offering flexibility and maximising care choice for all Australians, whether they live in city or country areas, is fundamental to the Turnbull Government’s aged care reforms,” said Minister Wyatt.

Aged & Community Services Australia welcomes the additional $3 funding as recognition of the importance of high quality aged care services for older Australians living outside metropolitan centres.

Additional resources flowing to service providers offering vital, remote care across three states is an important investment but more needs to be done to ensure sustainability and greater consistency of services for all older Australians relying on aged care services in rural and remote communities, ACSA CEO, Pat Sparrow, said.

Rural and Remote providers, including those operating as a Multi-Purpose Service, often face a higher cost base in delivering services that are the lifeblood of their communities.

“The funding of all rural and remote providers needs to be addressed by the Government as a matter of urgency,” Ms. Sparrow said.

“One thing Government could do easily and quickly is to adopt recommendation 32 of the Legislated (Tune) Review of Aged Care 2017.”

The Tune review was an independent review that looked at the impact and effectiveness of the changes and has made recommendations for future reform to the aged care system.

“A review the Multi-Purpose Services (MPS) program which aims to better align service delivery models in rural and remote areas, create greater consistency of services for older Australians living in those areas and ensure any future funding is properly targeted, will start the process of ensuring sustainability for rural and remote services.”

“Older Australians relying on these services need the certainty of ongoing service delivery from viable providers and funding needs to protect and ensure that consistency of care.”

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