A new report showing many aged care providers are profitable, counters claims made by some operators that the sector is “chronically under-funded”, the Australian Nursing Federation (ANF), said today.
The inaugural findings of the Aged Care Financing Authority’s (ACFA) analysis of the funding, financing and pricing for the aged care sector showed for the year 2011-12:
• 70 per cent of providers recorded a net profit before tax;
• 84 per cent of providers had positive earnings.
Report negates provider claims that the sector is chronically under-funded
“The ACFA report negates claims by some providers that the sector is chronically under-funded,” ANF Federal Secretary, Lee Thomas, said today.
“How can these providers possibly be crying poor when the facts now prove that 70 per cent of them are running a profitable operation?”
Resourced, capable and skilled workforce essential to a strong and effective aged care system
The report found the average return on assets was 5.5 per cent and the average return on equity was 15.9 per cent with for profit providers having higher returns than not for profit providers.
Ms Thomas said the ANF welcomed findings that a “resourced, capable and skilled workforce that meets the needs of aged care recipients, is essential to a strong and effective aged care system. It will provide the appropriate number of workers with the right skill mix to deliver quality care”.
“The sector needs to ensure that Government funding flows to where it’s needed most – to low paid aged care workers and the vulnerable, older Australians they care for,” Ms Thomas said.
ANF urges providers to work with the Government, unions and consumers through the Workforce Compact
“Now that the profitability of many providers has been proven by the ACFA analysis, the ANF is urging providers to work with the Federal Government, unions and consumers through the Workforce Compact.
“The Compact has been specifically developed to start closing the wages gap for aged care nurses and provide them with a better career pathway and education opportunities and in turn help attract more nurses to the sector.”
Ms Thomas said better wages must also be supported mandated levels of staffing and education of nursing and care staff in aged care; the right mix of properly qualified staff and a national system of regulation for workers.
The ANF, with over 230,000 members, is the professional and industrial voice for nurses, midwives and assistants in nursing in Australia.
Media Contact: Richard Lenarduzzi on 0411 254 390.