Benetas advocacy delivering insight and benefits
10 April 2015

Benetas advocacy delivering insight and benefits

Benetas is a proud advocate for aged care and older people in our community. An important part of this role is to engage with members of government, industry and community to raise issues of importance and act as a voice for older people.

Recent changes in government have seen the appointment of new Ministers for Health and Ageing, both in Victoria and nationally. Benetas has welcomed the appointment of Sussan Ley MP, Scott Morrison MP, and Martin Foley MP as Minister for Health, Minister for Social Services and Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing in Victoria respectively.

Benetas CEO, Sandra Hills, recently attended a number of stakeholder meetings between industry and government to discuss vital issues affecting the sector and to provide feedback to help inform future reform initiatives. These meetings are an important opportunity to reflect on where aged care is at present, discuss the challenges faced by the sector going forward and to work constructively to see these issues resolved.

In particular, Benetas has recently advocated the following issues.

Shorter Centrelink assessment timeframes
Benetas is concerned about delays and inaccuracies involved in Centrelink’s Income and Asset Assessment process. People seeking to access most aged care services are required to undertake an assessment, and delays can mean that urgent and necessary support can’t be accessed as quickly as it needs to be.

Better accessibility of My Aged Care
The Government’s My Aged Care website is a useful resource for consumers, bringing together a range of information about what’s available, and acting as a ‘gateway’ to aged care services. Benetas has urged government to invest in awareness and functionality of this service, to ensure it is as useful to the community as it can be. We welcome the recent government presentations that aim to educate the sector on the gateway, and hope to see a similar education program for the community.

The benefits of Consumer Directed Care (CDC)
The way that Home Care services are delivered will change on 1 July, with the introduction of CDC. This will see a range of initiatives offered which will increase the control consumers have over the services they receive. Benetas has conducted a lengthy pre-transition CDC trial with clients, with a large number of clients already moved across to a CDC package, and has provided extensive feedback to government on potential improvements to the system, as identified by trial participants.

For more information about Benetas’ advocacy agenda, please visit www.benetas.com.au/research-opinion.