Rural and regional residential aged care providers, including those in the New England, will benefit from an additional COVID-19 specific support package totalling $205 million under targeted measures announced by the Australian Government.
It takes the total COVID-19 specific Federal Government funding for aged care to more than $850 million.
Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said the payment – to all Commonwealth funded residential aged care providers but specifically targeting those in the bush – will be linked to the number of residents being cared for by each facility, and is aimed at covering the additional costs of caring for the health and wellbeing of residents during the pandemic.
“This virus has given rise to many unforeseen additional costs for aged care providers such as the rostering of extra staff, new COVID-19 specific training, visitation and facility control measures as well as the deployment of more personal protective equipment,” Mr Joyce said.
“I’m pleased to see that facilities in rural and regional areas will receive a 50 per cent loading to cover the additional costs of providing care because providers in the New England should not be disadvantaged simply because of their geographical location.”
Providers will receive around $900 per resident in metropolitan areas and around $1350 per resident in all other areas.
The latest round of funding follows the $235 million retention bonus paid to residential and home care workers to strengthen the workforce during the pandemic and $101 million to support providers directly impacted by an outbreak.
Additionally, the Business Improvement Fund has been extended for another year with $48 million in support as required by providers.