ASMOF urges Minister not to outsource ACATs


ASMOF urges Minister not to outsource ACATs

ASMOF and other members of the NSW Aged Care Roundtable have written to The Hon Brad Hazzard MP to express our concerns about the Commonwealth Government’s plan to put Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) services up for public tender this year in a bid to pursue financial efficiencies. Whilst supportive of plans to merge the Regional Assessment Service and ACATs into a single service ASMOF strongly oppose outsourcing the assessment process. 

In the letter the Roundtable notes that to achieve a level of expertise currently provided by ACATs would take a significant amount of time and resources. The transition from what is currently available to an equivalent service would put into jeopardy the wellbeing and indeed lives of thousands of elderly Australians. Waiting times will be increased even more compared with current waiting times. There could be significant potential conflicts of interest for private providers to assess and approve eligibility for Commonwealth-funded services which their organisation delivers. Referrals to inappropriate levels of care will undoubtedly occur.

The letter also draws attention to the  well-evidenced deficit in skills and numbers of aged care workers at all levels, noting that traditionally ACAT services have been a gateway for specialists in gerontology. Privatisation of such services will close off this opportunity to attract a broader skill set into the aged care sector and is a short-sighted proposition that demonstrates a lack of understanding about how services operate at point of delivery.

Read the full letter here.