Aged Care

Gov’t urged to fund aged care innovation, not delay further

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While many Australians take access to quality aged care for granted, the situation looks far different for older adults in rural and remote communities. A lack of funding for innovation is threatening to create a two-tier system, where your postcode determines your care options as you age.

Aged care provider McLean Care is sounding the alarm after the government failed to act on recommendations for boosting innovation funding in the recent budget.

McLean Care CEO Sue Thomson fears the consequences will be dire without urgent reform.

“There are many challenges facing the aged care sector as numerous reviews and inquiries have highlighted and we must take action now so that Australians can be assured of quality and dignified care later in life,” says Thomson.

McLean Care’s iAgeHealth platform is an example of how innovation can bridge the rural-urban divide. This virtual clinical workforce provides 24/7 access to experienced clinicians through diagnostic devices. For remote seniors, it offers an invaluable connection to specialist care.

“Our iAgeHealth platform shows the power of innovation, proving that it is possible to provide equitable access to quality health care services no matter where you live in Australia,” explains Thomson.

“Right now, iAgeHealth is fully funded by McLean Care so we are limited in how many Australians we can help with this service. A postcode should not dictate whether an older person – or any person – can receive the primary care they need to maintain their health and wellbeing.”

Numerous reviews have highlighted the myriad challenges plaguing the aged care sector. Thomson stresses that recommendations to fix issues like dire funding shortages are already on the table – the government just needs to take action.

“The Aged Care Taskforce report made key recommendations to address the funding challenges facing aged care, including encouraging innovation. The government has everything it needs to act right now, and I urge the Federal Government not to delay any longer in responding to those recommendations,” she says.

“I call on the Australian government to invest in aged care innovation and by doing so, invest in a better future for some of our most vulnerable.”

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