Residential aged care providers will benefit from an additional coronavirus specific support package totalling $205 million under targeted payment measures announced by the Morrison Government.
The payment – to all Commonwealth funded residential aged care providers – will be linked to the number of residents being cared for by each facility.
It is aimed at covering the additional costs of caring for the health and wellbeing of residents during the pandemic.
The costs include additional staffing, training, supporting visitations and connections and the provision of personal protective equipment.
Facilities outside major metropolitan areas will receive a 50 per cent loading to cover the additional costs of providing care in these areas.
Providers will receive around $900 per resident in major metropolitan areas and around $1350 per resident in all other areas.
Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said the latest injection of funds was aimed at ensuring aged care providers across Far North Queensland can offer reinforced levels of safety and care.
He said this new support package takes the total coronavirus specific Australian Government funding for aged care to more than $850 million.
“These measures are aimed protecting the most vulnerable people in our community,” Mr Entsch said.
“We are facing an extraordinary health challenge and we need to work together to protect the people we loved most.
“This is about keeping those people in residential aged care, protected and safe.”
Mr Entsch said the latest round of funding follows the $235 million retention bonus paid to residential and home care workers to strengthen the workforce during the pandemic.
He said this was also in addition to funding announced in March 2020 that included $78 million for residential care to support continuity of workforce supply.
“These measures help reassure families across Far North Queensland that everything is being done to look after their loved ones during this most difficult time,” he said.
“This payment will ensure providers continue to invest in coronavirus preparedness to protect the people in their care.
“We are seeing how devastating the impact of coronavirus can be if there is an outbreak in an aged care facility.
“While Australia is doing well by international comparison, we must remain vigilant – particularly in residential aged care to protect some of our most vulnerable Australians.”
The announcement comes as National Cabinet assessed an aged care sector code of conduct for visitations to ensure residents can not only be kept safe but continue to receive the social and emotional support they need from their families at this time.