HammondCare welcomes new Minister for Aged Care

HammondCare Chief Executive Dr Stephen Judd has welcomed the proactive approach of the new Minister for Aged Care, Sussan Ley, whose appointment was announced today. 

In Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's recent Cabinet reshuffle, aged care was part of the Minister for Social Service's portfolio which meant aged care was given direct representation in Cabinet.In her statement announcing the appointment, Ms Ley said, "What better time to embrace our older generations, the services and care they receive now and will receive over the coming generations. That’s why I proactively put my hand up to bring responsibility for aged care back to health and give it a seat at the Cabinet table."

Dr Judd said he was pleased this Cabinet presence would continue with Minister Ley and agreed with her comments that the ageing population was not a "burden" but something to celebrate because "we are living healthier and, for the most part, happier lives."

He also welcomed news that Assistant Minister for Health, Ken Wyatt, would have a "special focus" on aged care, alongside Ms Ley.

"For some time our sector has been emphasising the importance and growing need for better integration of aged care with health and these appointments clearly acknowledges this.

"As older Australians receiving aged care have increasingly complex health needs, it is vital that there is effective integration with health services, particularly sub-acute services such as rehabilitation and palliative care and the option for receiving these services in aged care and community settings as well."

Ms Ley, in addressing the importance of integration between health and aged care, said:

"I believe that we can support older Australians – and indeed their carers – better. A key factor in this support is how our aged care services integrate and complement our health services. Bringing the aged care portfolio to sit alongside the Ministries of Health and Sport will complement our integrated health system. We know aged care plays an important role in the overall health system and this move will benefit all Australians, particularly those over the age of 65."

Federal responsibilities for health and aged care were previously linked in the Department of Health and Aged Care (1998-2001) and the Department of Health and Ageing (2001 to September 2013).

Sussan Ley will be sworn in as the Minister for Aged Care next Wednesday at 2pm