COTA Victoria and Seniors Rights Victoria are pleased to contribute to the development of a new Aged Care Act, the primary legislation for the aged care system. This is central to driving aspirations for a reoriented aged care sector that prioritises the well-being and social participation of older people.
While these are national issues, COTA Victoria has a vital interest and responsibility to our stakeholders to ensure that the Act responds effectively to the particular profile of aged care in Victoria.
The discussion paper issued in July 2023 proposes a simplified, rights-centred Act facilitating streamlined access to the full range of funded aged care services. It outlines proposals for changes to provider accountability, supported decision-making, whistle-blower protection and quality assurance.
Our submission broadly supports the proposals but raises a range of concerns about specific details and omissions. We want to ensure that legislation supports aged care to be well integrated with other elements of the service system, and avoids creation of a two-tiered system rather than aiming for consistent high quality. We also want to see the Act include concrete commitment to how older people will have structured ongoing input to system and service improvement.
We look forward to the publication of a full exposure draft of the new Act in late 2023.