Home Care Packages
We call on the next Federal Government to urgently fund the 2,000 home care packages for older Tasmanians who need them. Further, we call on the next Federal Government to invest in home care packages for an additional 100,000 home care packages nationally.
Tasmania currently leads Australia in the population ageing trend with the highest proportion of the population aged over 65 years and the highest median age of 42.
In Tasmania nearly 2,000 people who have been approved for home care packages are yet to receive services and the wait time for older Tasmanians to receive home care packages is nearing six months. Older people who are on the wait list might receive care through the Commonwealth Home Care Support Programme (CHSP), but this is not enough to meet the needs of people who qualify for the higher level of supports afforded by a home care package. While they wait, they miss out on the vital services that maintain their health and wellbeing. For some the wait is too long and they are forced to move into aged care facilities.
In the 2019/20 Budget, the Federal Government announced funding for 10,000 more home care packages nationally but this is not enough.
TasCOSS urges the next Federal Government to ensure dental care is affordable for all by, as a first step, doubling the number of adults able to use public dental services.
Two million Australians delay or miss out on dental care each year because of cost. More than 10% of Tasmanians report delaying or not seeing a dentist due to cost. Access is also an issue: Tasmania has the second-lowest rate of dentists in the country, after the Northern Territory.
Oral health has an impact in many spheres of life. Because people avoid certain foods that are hard to eat, their nutrition can suffer. Oral health conditions can feed other health problems including diabetes and heart disease. It also impacts on people’s quality of life and ability to earn an income – people avoid socialising due to bad teeth and report that their employment choices are limited.
Equal Remuneration Order (ERO)
We want the next Federal Government to continue ERO payments, or raise the rate by the same amount of the base grants those organisations receive.
Every community needs quality health and community services – mental health support, disability services, aged care and so on. Yet these are under threat with the Federal Government announcing it will stop providing additional funding for the ERO that was designed to address the gender pay gap and maintain essential services to communities.
Since 2012 the ERO from the Fair Work Commission has helped to produce:
- a large reduction in the gender pay gap in the community sector (which is due to the community sector industry being highly feminised, and highly feminised industries are traditionally paid less than male-dominated industries for work of the same value);
- a sector that is seen as more valued and therefore more attractive to work in due to better wages; and
- better funding to improve the viability and sustainability of many organisations, ensuring communities receive the services they need.