Australia extends $60M COVID-19 support for aged care facilities
The Australian Government extends their support for COVID‑19 response measures in aged care facilities until 30 June 2022.
Around $60 million was invested by the government to support aged care facilities that have been impacted by the pandemic.
Thanks to the extension, a second round of COVID-19 Aged Care Support Program grants will now be available to these facilities. These grants will help support aged care providers with the financial costs they will incur from 28 May 2021 to 31 March 2022.
The COVID-19 Aged Care Support Program supports the costs of additional or replacement staff, personal protective equipment (PPE), cleaning and infection control, waste management and travel and accommodation.
The Program began on 27 March 2020 and has provided $61.2 million in grant funding to date. It has also helped with the reimbursement of providers for certain expenses incurred from managing care recipients and staff needing to isolate due to suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection.
In his media release, Minister for Health and Aged Care Greg Hunt said the surge workforce program will also remain in place. This was done in order to meet future demands in the event of further outbreaks.
The Government is currently making significant efforts to protect senior Australians in aged care as a response to the growing situation in Victoria and the emerging outbreak in New South Wales.
They have increased their efforts in ensuring that more resources are easily available should they be needed and that providers affected by an outbreak can access surge workforce staff and receive financial support for eligible expenses.
Minister Hunt said the established surge workforce program and associated arrangements will keep people in aged care safe by ensuring their continuity of care while managing potential infection risk at times of community transmission of COVID-19.
The Department of Health has assisted aged care providers in dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak, filling more than 39,000 nursing, personal care and ancillary shifts and more than 750 clinical first responder deployments.