One of the nation’s largest aged care providers has reported a loss of $40 million.

However, after a property revaluation of nearly $24 million, the organisation’s “comprehensive loss” was reported as $16 million.

During the 2018-19 financial year, UnitingCare received nearly $651 million in government grants and subsidies. 

On top of that it received $515 million in patient and client revenue, and $213 million in services and fees.

Executives were paid $4.7 million, a decline from the previous year when they pocketed $5.3 million.

The organisation does not reveal in its financial accounts how much its chief executive officer, Craig Barke, is paid. 

Mr Barke was formerly chair of the company, and was appointed CEO on 3 October 2017.

Not-for-profit UnitingCare Queensland operates 57 residential aged care facilities, in total 3,875 beds.

In 2018 and 2019, UnitingCare saw several of its aged care facilities fail quality and safety standards, however, all failures have now been rectified, according to the My Aged Care website.

More government funding urgently needed

UnitingCare Queensland’s corporate affairs director, Matthew Cuming, told The Courier Mail that more funding is needed.

“We serve regional and remote communities where the for-profit providers often choose not to go,” he said.

“We need urgent federally led structural and funding reform to ensure our sustainability.”

UnitingCare Australia, which established UnitingCare Queensland in 1999, was part of a consortium of aged care providers and peak bodies that called on the federal government late last year to increase funding to the sector.

“Further targeted investment and reforms are urgently required to help ensure residential care sustainability, so older Australians in need receive care services where and when they require them,” a group statement said.

Transparency lacking on how government funds are spent

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation in December 2019 called for greater “transparency” in aged care funding, to ensure government dollars are being spent on services that directly benefit residents.

ANMF federal secretary, Annie Butler, said in the statement, “Privately-operated aged care providers receive between 70-80 per cent of their funding from the Australian taxpayer, but with no current laws in place, they are free to spend public funds however they choose.” 

“With no Government guarantees attached or requirements to demonstrate the use of taxpayer- funding for aged care, the quality and quantity of care able to be provided to residents continues to be diminished,” she said.

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