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Media Release by The Hon Bill Shorten MP

Younger People with Disability in Residential Aged Care program

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Jenny Macklin MP, Minister for Families Housing Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

The Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, and Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities, Bill Shorten, today welcomed the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) report Younger People with Disability in Residential Aged Care program: Report on the 2008-09 Minimum Data Set.

The Younger People with Disability in Residential Aged Care program (YPIRAC) program is the first time an Australian Government has worked with states and territories to provide better alternatives for this vulnerable group of people.

The Australian Government is contributing $122 million over five years, from July 2006 to June 2011, to the YPIRAC program as part of the National Disability Agreement with matched funding from the states and territories.

‘Young people should have the choice of accommodation with their peers and not end up in nursing homes just because there is no alternative accommodation for them,’ Ms Macklin said.

Under our new health and hospitals reform agenda, the Australian Government will take over full responsibility for aged care. Supporting people with disability under the age of 65, including those in residential aged care, will be funded under the National Disability Agreement.

‘For the first time, this will deliver clear incentives for the disability service system to provide more appropriate accommodation options for younger people with disability,’ Ms Macklin said.

‘The Australian Government is providing more than $5 billion to the states and territories over five years under the National Disability Agreement for specialist disability services.’

Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities, Bill Shorten, said the report showed that the YPIRAC program was making a difference to the lives of many young people with Acquired Brain Injuries and other disabilities.

‘Young people should have access to community and specialist disability services,’ Mr Shorten said.

‘They should have the choice to live with people of their own age, in as much comfort and dignity as possible.’

To ensure the YPIRAC program continues to meet the different needs of clients and their families, the Australian Government is providing $500,000 over two years to June 2011 to the Young People in Nursing Homes National Alliance.

The Alliance will consult young people and their families, as well as state and territory Governments, the health sector and other stakeholders to develop policy options and service pathways for this group. It will report back to the Government on future direction and possible improvements.