Australia to Establish Royal Commission Into Aged-Care Sector

(Bloomberg) -- Prime Minister Scott Morrison will establish a Royal Commission into Australia’s aged-care sector.

The inquiry will examine the quality of care provided to elderly Australians, as well as younger people with disabilities housed in residential facilities, Morrison said in a statement Sunday.

“As a community we expect high standards for the quality and safety of aged care services,” Morrison said. “This Royal Commission will be about proactively determining what we need to do in the future to ensure these expectations can be met.”

The government has shut down almost one aged-care service a month over the past year after increased checks on the sector, Morrison said.

The aged-care sector in Australia provides services to over 1.3 million people. Annual government spending on aged care is expected to jump to A$23.6 billion ($16.9 billion) by 2023 from a record A$18.6 billion this year.

The sector generates annual revenue totaling about A$21.5 billion. Listed aged-care providers include Regis Healthcare Ltd., Estia Health Ltd. and Japara Healthcare Ltd.

Morrison said the inquiry’s terms of reference would include:

  • The quality of care provided to older Australians and the extent of substandard care
  • The challenge of providing care to Australians with disabilities in residential aged care, particularly younger people with disabilities
  • The challenge of supporting the increasing number of Australians suffering dementia
  • The future challenges and opportunities for delivering aged-care services in the context of changing demographics

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.