The Commission's proposed reforms would free up the system by removing limits on care packages and residential bed numbers, and distinctions between low, high and extra service residential care, but quality standards would remain.Providers would be operating in a competitive market and would need to be more responsive to their clients. They would have to offer an accommodation charge that reflected costs and limit bond values to the equivalent of that charge. Older people would contribute to the cost of their care according to their financial capacity to do so, and be protected by a lifetime limit on care cocontributions. They would also be responsible for their accommodation and living expenses, with safety nets for those with limited means.
The draft report canvasses a number of other reforms aimed at assisting older people with special needs, as well as the families and other carers of older people. Improved working environments and more competitive wages would help ensure that there are sufficient well-trained nurses and carers for the growing numbers of older Australians.
Interested parties are invited to make submissions to the Commission by Monday 21 March, 2011 (See : http://www.pc.gov.au/projects/inquiry/aged-care for details) or attend the scheduled public hearings.