Let’s Just Privatise Health Care

Filed under Letters & Opinion ~ by Editor on  31 Dec 2019

We note with deep concern that the Federal Government has announced it is starting the privatisation process of the Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACAT).

This taxpayer funded and government run scheme which assesses what help our older Australians need, whether it be help in the home, or a move to supported accommodation. It has done this with the full knowledge that its own Royal Commission into Aged Care is deeply concerned about the appropriateness of market forces to deliver care to those needing Aged Care. It is planning a full report with funding recommendations by November 2020.

Nothing in this interim report suggests that a way forward is to privatise anything. Indeed, the report has clear concerns about ‘the market’.

“n October 2017, the Carnell-Paterson review concluded that ‘the rationale for regulation of residential aged care quality is that the market is an inadequate mechanism to ensure the safety and wellbeing of highly vulnerable residents’.73

Despite these discussions within recent reviews, in the main reviews conducted since 1997 have not questioned the evolution of the aged care system into one more reliant on ‘market forces’ or re-examined the institutional structures through which aged care is provided.

In the months ahead, the Royal Commission will further explore the need for measures to manage a fragmented market for the delivery of aged care, along with consideration of alternatives.”

Page 80 Interim Report of Royal Commission into Aged Care

A privatised ACAT will be a race to the bottom.

Poorly trained assessors will inadequately assess complex patient needs as they gouge Government fees for their private owners and force the dedicated assessors out of the system because they will not be profitable.

More taxes wasted and gifted to private businesses.

Does this really sound like a way to improve the lives of our aging population?

Dr Tim Woodruff
Doctors Reform Society

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