Submission to the Improving Choice in Aged Care: ACAR Discontinuation Discussion Paper

The discontinuation of the Aged Care Approvals Round progresses several key recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, including promoting choice and control for older Australians, and encouraging innovation and high-quality service provision among providers. But the needs of vulnerable people are unlikely to be addressed through a reliance on market forces and mechanisms alone. The role of Government must be clearly articulated, and measures suggested in the Discussion Paper to ensure access for low-income and vulnerable older people should be further developed. Anglicare Australia recommends that the impacts of discontinuing the ACAR be closely monitored. We also call for a Market Stewardship framework for guaranteeing access. The framework should include a fund to address service gaps, infrastructure investment, and block funding for services who support diverse communities.