Welcome investment to support health and aged care in the Federal Budget

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Dementia Australia welcomes the significant investment in the aged care workforce and dementia specific initiatives announced tonight in the Federal Budget including a Clinical Quality Registry, investment in rarer forms of dementia and funding for longer GP consultations, which will benefit people living with dementia, their families and carers.

Dementia Australia CEO, Maree McCabe AM said the $98.2 million for longer GP consultations will support the diagnosis experience and the ongoing disease management for people living with dementia, their families and carers.

“The 15 per cent increase in wages for the whole aged care workforce is greatly appreciated but this is not just about numbers – it’s also about building capacity of the aged care workforce to deliver quality care to the more than 400,000 Australians living with dementia,” Ms McCabe said.

Dementia Australia will continue to advocate for compulsory dementia education for new and existing workers.

“We know dementia education leads to a reduction in high-risk incidents, lower rates of inappropriate use of medication and more positive staff attitudes and morale, which ultimately results in better service delivery and quality of life for people living with dementia,” Ms McCabe said.

“We welcome the ongoing progress made by the Albanese Government in addressing key recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety,” Ms McCabe said.

Other key measures in the 2023-24 Federal Budget include:

  • Investment in rarer forms of dementia - $75,000 for research to assist improving care for children with dementia and $2.2 million over five years for a Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease scheme.
  • $112 million for Australians living in residential aged care to receive more regular visits, health assessments and care planning through additional incentive payments to GPs and primary care clinics.
  • $166.8 million for additional Home Care Packages.
  • $8.2 million for Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations and $1.6 million for an interim First Nations Aged Care Commissioner.
  • And ongoing reform activity that has been informed by the Royal Commission including stronger regulation, reporting and improved data.

In February, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare released data showing dementia is now the leading cause of disease burden among Australians aged 65 and over. Dementia is the second leading cause of death for Australians and the leading cause of death of women.

“This data makes it even more compelling that Dementia Australia continues our consultation with government on these important reforms including the release of the National Dementia Action Plan which we anticipate will be a key measure in the next budget,” Ms McCabe said.

Dementia Australia is the source of trusted information, education and services for the estimated more than 400, 000 Australians living with dementia, and the almost 1.5 million people involved in their care. We advocate for positive change and support vital research. We are here to support people impacted by dementia, and to enable them to live as well as possible. No matter how you are impacted by dementia or who you are, we are here for you.

For support, please contact the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500. An interpreter service is available. The National Dementia Helpline is funded by the Australian Government. People looking for information can also visit dementia.org.au  

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Media contacts: David Edghill, Government and Media Relations Advisor, 0482 163 156, [email protected]

When talking or writing about dementia please refer to Dementia-Friendly Language Guidelines.