Home Care smoke and mirrors

Article published 28 January 2020

Home Care smoke and mirrors

From July to September last year, the Home Care Packages program provided an additional 18,940 active packages for 18,367 new entrants. This means it had 573 packages to spare to reduce the overall waiting list. However, that waiting list was reduced by 7,287.

Is this a brilliant performance, yielding an unexpected bonus of 7,287 minus 573 equalling 6,714 additional packages?

No, unfortunately.

The number of 6,714 consists mainly of people dying, either waiting for a Home Care Package or being on aHome Care Package. In other words, 92 per cent of the improvement of the waiting list was due purely to attrition, not to superior Government performance.

But you wouldn’t say so if you read the jubilant media release issued by the Aged Care Minister upon publication of the Home Care Packages report on 23 December last year:

“Latest figures reveal a strong increase in the number of Home Care Packages available to senior Australians as the Government continues to deliver on its commitment to help the elderly stay in their homes longer”.

573 packages “a strong increase”?

CPSA doesn’t think so.

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