Aged care minister minster Ken Wyatt
Aged care minister minster Ken Wyatt

$288m nursing home boost adds 4200 beds

BED numbers will be boosted in nursing homes by 11 per cent this year, giving elderly Queenslanders access to 4289 new places.

Federal Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt will announce today $288 million in bonus funding to pay for the extra beds in Queensland.

The record funding will pay aged care homes $67,000 a year to care for each of the 1497 extra places in Brisbane and the 2792 in the rest of the state.

The Sunshine Coast has been given 514 extra places, with 572 more beds for the Gold Coast.

A quarter of the places will be reserved for the "financially or socially challenged'' - including the homeless, war veterans, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and elderly gay or lesbian people.

 

Queensland has been given more funding and beds than any other state or territory.

The Morrison government will also give Queensland nursing homes $11 million in grants to use for renovations, extensions, new kitchens, security upgrades and fire protection systems.

In the Aboriginal community of Yarrabah, outside Cairns, the aged care home will receive $4.7 million to build a 10-bed extension.

And $1.18 million will improve the care for dementia and palliative care patients on North Stradbroke Island.

The extra funding aims to reduce waiting lists for aged care, as thousands of elderly Queenslanders languish in hospitals waiting for nursing home beds.

The latest Productivity Commission data reveals that in Queensland, 125,207 hospital days were used up by elderly patients eligible and waiting for a place in a nursing home in 2016/17.

Nationally, 13,400 new places in nursing homes will cost almost $1 billion a year - $907 million in day-to-day care costs and $60 million in capital grants.

Queensland has won the lion's share of the extra federal funding as it the most decentralised state, with half the population living outside Brisbane.

Mr Wyatt said the number of new beds for regional areas had nearly doubled since the previous federal funding round two years ago.

"I am passionate about ensuring all Australians have access to quality aged care service, regardless of where they live,'' he said yesterday.

"(This funding) will help people receive the care they require as close as possible to the communities they know and love.''

The Federal Government spent $18 billion on aged care last financial year and will boost funding by $5 billion over the next four years.



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