The Baillieu Government has reduced funding for Home and Community Care (HACC) services across Victoria, which will see waiting lists grow and more families move relatives into permanent care earlier.
Shadow Minister for Seniors and Ageing, Jenny Mikakos said the Baillieu Government hasn’t met the increase in demand for the successful program with additional funding.
“Mr Baillieu is responsible for a state-wide 2 per cent cut in home care hours, despite spiralling demand due to an ageing population,” Ms Mikakos said.
“As councils will receive less money from the Baillieu Government to administer HACC, they will either have to cut services or pass the costs on to ratepayers.
“HACC is a successful program keeping people in their own home and out of the high care aged care system.
“By offering a range of basic support services such as domestic help, garden maintenance and shopping assistance, HACC enables people to remain living in their own home.
“With less access to HACC services, families will be forced to rely on more costly forms of care such as hostels and high care nursing homes, well before it is needed.
“This is a short-sighted measure by the Baillieu Government that will cost the community and the Government more in the long term.”
Shadow Disability Services Minister, Danielle Green said the HACC program had a track record of helping those living with a disability to remain independent.
“Mr Baillieu is failing hundreds of disabled Victorians, their carers and their families who rely on HACC services each year,” Ms Green said.
“The Government should be doing all they can to help those living with a disability, especially young Victorians, to keep them out of aged care facilities.
“Sadly, Ted Baillieu is cutting down the care options to these vulnerable people.
“Victoria’s HACC programs are regarded as the best in the country, but Mr Baillieu must invest in the program to ensure people have access to it when needed.
“Mr Baillieu’s backflip on Federal Labor’s National Insurance Scheme is a good start, but until the program is rolled out across the nation, Mr Baillieu must ensure HACC and other disability services are well resourced and available when people need them.”