Did you know four in ten aged care providers are making a loss?
41 per cent were in the red in December 2017 compared to 33 per cent in 2015-16, according to the latest data from independent industry analyst StewartBrown.
Even more are struggling to stay financially viable, especially those in rural and remote areas. The data shows 56 per cent of facilities in those regions are expected to report a loss in 2017-18.
It’s a sharp contrast to the headlines that argue aged care providers are putting profits before residents.
In fact, StewartBrown found the average facility is making a return of just 1.82 per cent.
But the direct costs of caring for residents and the number of hours spent caring for them are both going up.
How long can this be kept up though?
An unsustainable system
StewartBrown says the figures are directly linked to the current freeze on aged care funding by the Federal Government.
The Government is currently reviewing how it funds aged care after cutting $1.2 billion from the sector over four years back in 2016.
It deserves a review. Consider this – aged care providers receive a budget of around $260 a day to care for each resident. Hospitals receive $1,900 per day for a hospital patient.
If one in four of our hospitals was making a loss, it would be front-page news.
The quality of care in our aged care facilities should be the best. But for the system to do better, it needs cash – from the Government and from consumers.
With an estimated 83,500 beds needed over the next 10 years, it’s an issue that requires a long-term solution.
The Government is due to release its 2018-19 Budget next month however. Now is the time to contact your Federal member and demand that aged care gets a funding boost now – our frail and elderly deserve it.