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High-quality aged care is affordable and achievable

Modelling by Deloitte Access Economics suggests comprehensive reform of Australia’s aged care system would cost under one-third of the amount taxpayers are willing to fund.

The Deloitte Access Economics modelling indicates reform would need new funding equivalent to a 1 percentage point increase in income tax rates. A separate study by Flinders University has shown the average taxpayer is willing to pay 3.1 percentage points so all Australians can access high-quality aged care.

The modelling by Deloitte Access Economics was undertaken for the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. It examines key reforms the Royal Commission is considering. The results are presented in Research Paper 11 – Aged care reform: projecting future impacts. The earlier Flinders University study used a survey of over 10,000 people and was released by the Royal Commission in Research Paper 6 – Australia’s aged care system: assessing the views and preferences of the general public for quality of care and future funding. Both research papers are available on the Royal Commission’s website.

The wide-reaching reform package the Royal Commission is considering includes:

  • mandatory 4-star staffing levels in aged care homes
  • other workforce improvements such as mandatory Certificate III training for personal care workers and a national personal care worker register like in other professions that work with vulnerable people
  • uncapping the number of Home Care Packages so people receive the care they need rather than languish on a waiting list
  • significant improvements to health services, including access to GPs, psychologists, dentists, and rehabilitation
  • greater access to respite services to support informal carers
  • getting young people with a disability out of aged care homes into accommodation appropriate for them
  • new teams of case managers giving face-to-face support to people who need help to access aged care services
  • improved resourcing for public guardians to help the most vulnerable elderly people without family or friends to support them

The reforms would create around 30,000 additional full-time equivalent jobs in aged care by the end of this decade. This is on top of more than 50,000 extra full-time equivalent workers that will be needed because of population trends.

Wages for professions in the aged care sector would rise to levels equivalent with other health care sectors to attract the required workers.

The Deloitte Access Economics modelling provides important insights ahead of the Royal Commission’s upcoming hearings about the funding, financing and prudential regulation of aged care. The hearings on these topics are scheduled for 14-22 September.

The research papers were prepared for the information of the Royal Commission and the public. Any views expressed in them are not necessarily the views of the Commissioners.

To read the Royal Commission’s research papers, please visit the Publications page.