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The root of our Age Care woes

The 10-page 1997 memo that brought us to where we are today on aged care

ABC social affairs correspondent Norman Hermant reports that a 10-page memo to John Howard's cabinet decades ago foreshadowed an aged care system weighed down by waiting lists and funding shortages.

Key points:

  • A 1997 memo introduced the idea of quotas on aged care places if the system became too expensive

  • The idea was raised as the Howard government overhauled the aged care system

  • Quotas have become pervasive, with tens of thousands of Australians waiting for aged care funding

The ABC report says "Unearthed for the final submission of counsel assisting to the aged care royal commission, a cabinet memo from 1997 doesn't sound particularly earth-shattering. The memo, with the words "Cabinet in Confidence" stamped on the top of every page, is titled "Residential Aged Care — Long Term Outlays And Issues For Funding Structures". The bureaucratic-sounding memo, written for then-prime minister John Howard, was prepared before the introduction of the Aged Care Act in 1997.The act overhauled the aged care system and introduced partial privatisation. Read the full article HERE

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