Commonwealth invests in aged care for the Northern Territory
The Commonwealth Government has worked in partnership with the Uniting Care network on a transition plan to keep aged care services available in the Northern Territory through a $5 million investment.
Member for Solomon Natasha Griggs said earlier this year Frontier Services had made a commercial decision to close Tracy Aged Care because they felt they could no longer provide the environment they would want for their residents and staff.
Having made the decision to close Tracy Aged Care, the organisation is now transferring its Northern Territory services to BlueCare.
The Commonwealth Government has negotiated with BlueCare a package worth $5 million to support continued delivery of these much needed aged care services in the Northern Territory.
“Blue Care is supporting Tracy Aged Care residents and their families. The $5 million will also support aged care residents in Western Australia affected by the transition,” Mrs Griggs said.
“Every single resident will be found a new aged care place.”
Mrs Griggs said the Commonwealth Government has made significant investments to ensure the sustainability of aged care services in the Northern Territory. This latest funding commitment of nearly $5 million is in addition to $6.9 million provided since October, as well as a previous $11 million capital grant to renovate residential services.
“Last financial year, we invested $93.4 million in aged care services in the Northern Territory,” she said.
“This included funding for residential and home care, and to help with the cost of long-stay older patients waiting to be placed in an aged care home, as well as individual grants to build or upgrade facilities and buy equipment.
“And to help with the increased costs of delivering services in rural and remote areas, the Government pays an additional supplement to eligible services in those areas.”
Assistant Minister for Social Services Senator Mitch Fifield said the Government expects aged care providers to manage their businesses and take responsibility for their commercial decisions.
“However, the Government has made this significant funding commitment in recognition of the unique challenges facing aged care providers and consumers in Northern Australia,” he said.
“At 213.5 places per 1000 people aged 70 years and over, the operational planning ratio for the Northern Territory already exceeds our 2021-22 target of 125 places.”
“The Australian Government is committed to the delivery of quality care for older people; their health, safety and wellbeing are of paramount importance,” he said.