Privatisation of aged care assessment stymied

Article published 24 March 2020

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PLANS to put out a public tender for aged care assessment services have been binned after pressure from the Royal Commission and state and territory health ministers.

To get into a nursing home, you get assessed by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT).

To get a Home Care Package or into the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, you get assessed by the Regional Assessment Service (RAS).

Everyone agrees that these two, ACAT and RAS, should become one service, to rule out the possibility that people have to go through two assessments.

But the Australian Government wanted to take it a step further. Combine the two and put them out to tender.

Aged Care Assessment Teams are currently run by the states and territories. The RAS is run by the federal Department of Health.

The suspected reason why the Australian Government wanted to control both entities in one service under one contract is simple. The Government would control the assessment protocol entirely.

People could be assessed as not needing aged care or not needing as much aged care.

Aged care becomes much cheaper this way.

The Government said it will now take advice from states and territories and the Royal Commission about the reform of aged care assessment.

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