Over 50,000 Older Australians Have Died While Waiting For Approved Home Care Since 2017.

April 22, 2022

The myHomecare Group was featured in the Guardian’s article ‘More than 50,000 older Australians died while waiting for approved home care since 2017.’

We share our views on the coalition’s bonus as well as our staffing situation.

For a summary of the article read on.

More than 50,000 older Australians have died while on the waiting list for home care in recent years.

The federal government last year announced a major package to alleviate the pressure on home care and cut the number of people who have been approved for a Home Care Package but are still waiting to receive it.

Despite substantial improvements in recent years, the time people spend on the National Priority System waiting list is still significantly high.

On average, those receiving the highest level of support still wait six to nine months for their packages, down from 12 months or more in 2020.

In spite of improvements, thousands of older Australians on the National Priority System (NPS) still die before receiving their approved home care.

Home Care Package National Priority System.

During the last six months of 2021, 3,802 people on the NPS died before receiving Home Care Packages. In 2020-21, there were more than 8,000 deaths, and in 2019-20, there were 10,563. Over 50,000 older Australians have died while waiting for home care since 2017-18.

According to the government, drawing any causal link between the delays in-home care and the deaths would be misleading.

Senior health officials also say the number of deaths is proportionate to the general rate of deaths in the community for older age cohorts.

But Labor’s Mark Butler said the delays were a “national disgrace”, showing that access to home care is a problem.

“As Department of Health secretary Prof Brendan Murphy noted during Senate estimates, the number of people over the age of 75 who have died while on the waiting list for a Home Care Package is exactly the same proportion of people who have died in that age bracket in the general community,” the spokesperson said.

“Importantly, the National Prioritisation System didn’t even exist under the last Labor government.”

The new packages are coming along progressively until 2023 and are helping to reduce the waiting list.

“We are not aware of any data that reflects this level of growth in the home care workforce,” its chief executive, Sean Rooney, told the Guardian.

The largest Home Care Package Provider, the myHomecare Group, said its staff was at breaking point and that the Coalition’s $800 staff bonus was doing nothing to alleviate the crisis.

To read this story in full, click here.

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