The Aged Care Royal Commission has now been extended by six months, as approved by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday.
Originally due by the 30th of April 2020, the final report will now not be released until November next year.
There has been no change to the interim report which is expected to be released by 31 October 2019.
“The Morrison government has agreed to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety’s request for an extension of six months to continue to hear evidence from Australians and conduct its deliberations,” Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck said on Friday.
“This Government has aged care front and centre of its agenda as one of our key priorities.
“We have committed to invest over $90 billion into the sector over the next four years to enable senior Australians to remain in their homes for longer, support their choices, have their needs better understood and improve their quality of life.
“It is important that our aged care sector continues to provide high quality care and that we understand where we can make improvements.”
ACSA CEO Pat Sparrow believes the extension will allow for broader discussion on big picture solutions.
“It’s very important to hear when and how things have gone wrong but we also need specific discussions and recommendations about how government, providers and the community can work together to better plan and provide for our ageing population,” Ms Sparrow said.
“Strengthening and improving aged care in Australia will require more than just new rules. Absolutely critical will be new funding solutions and large-scale community education about ageing and aged care.
“This extension to the Royal Commission is necessary to ensure these broader discussions occur. We exist to provide the very best quality of care to older Australians and want to contribute to ensuring the system can do just that. We want to take a constructive path forward.”
Mr Colbeck also announced former federal court judge the Hon Gaetano (Tony) Pagone would be welcomed as the third commissioner to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.
Mr Pagone will join co-commissioners Lynelle Briggs and Richard Tracey to commence the role immediately.
The Commission is also currently reviewing the closing date for submissions suggesting this will also be extended.
“There is good reason to feel optimistic about what can be achieved through the Royal Commission, but until we see adequate planning for the structural and funding issues, Australia won’t be able to fully address the needs of older Australians – let alone the future challenges of our ageing population,” Ms Sparrow said.
The Beyond the Interim Report of the Royal Commission Conference, running from 19 – 21 November 2019 in Melbourne, is a prime opportunity for providers to engage with the Royal Commission as it continues and leverage the key learnings from the Interim Report. Understand what ongoing reform means for your organisation, and strategise with experts and industry leaders to be on the front foot and deliver the best possible care.