Submission to the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Caring for Older Australians

The number of people aged 85 and over is expected to more than quadruple over the next 40 years, to 1.8 million people by 2050.

The range and level of services available to meet the needs of older Australians is inadequate, and the current means of financing them is unsustainable.

Action can no longer be delayed if adequate services are to be available on an equitable basis. Many features of the sector must be reconfigured and the expectations of both citizens and providers re-shaped.

In this submission, the BCA recommends:

  • Using the functionality that arises from the development of new ICT and telemedicine technologies, the investments in e-health infrastructure and the NBN, to design a system that is based on a continuum of care, recognising the range of services and supporting those who are ageing or suffer from some functional limitation.
  • Identifying the linked services and supporting infrastructure that exists in other functional portfolios to support healthy living and healthy communities.
  • Streamlining regulation that constrains the ways in which services are offered and allows the quality, access and efficiency benefits available through new technologies to be captured.
  • Establishing strong consumer-oriented quality assurance and system governance mechanisms, including access to all relevant information and assistance with system navigation.
  • Promoting an understanding of the range of services and likely costs associated with ageing within the financial planning sector.
  • Developing a new class of financial instruments that can be used to supplement existing mechanisms to help self-fund life-cycle expenses.

Submission to the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Caring for Older Australians (cover letter)