Why is aged care changing

Our aged care system is currently world class. However, people are living longer thanks to better health and better health care.

We need to make some fundamental changes, now, to ensure the system:

  • is sustainable and affordable
  • offers choice and flexibility for consumers
  • encourages businesses to invest and grow
  •  provides diverse and rewarding career options.

Moving towards consumer-directed care is a big part of the changes we’re making to the aged care system. It means people will have greater choice, and care will be based on needs.

The traditional image of aged care is often associated with residential aged care, but most people want to stay independent, remain in their home and connected to family and community for much longer. Our investment in home support and home care packages means that people will have greater choice and flexibility when it comes to home-based care and support.

What is changing

Aged care reforms are being progressively implemented in three phases over 10 years.

The changes are being implemented so that our aged care system can be sustainable and affordable, and be the best possible system for all Australians.

2012-13 and 2013-14

Years one and two delivered immediate, urgently needed improvements while laying the groundwork for further reform:

  • new Home Care Packages and supplements introduced in home care and residential care
  • My Aged Care including a national contact centre began operations
  • the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency was established
  • the Aged Care Pricing Commission was launched.  

For more information about changes already implemented, see What has been achieved so far.

2014-15 and 2015-16

Years three and four are delivering improved access and choice for consumers, and stronger system sustainability. The 2015-16 changes build on those already achieved, including:

  • implementing the national voluntary quality indicators for aged care
  • Introducing a national fee framework for the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.

2016-17 to 2021-22

Changes to be implemented in this phase will be developed in consultation with the aged care sector. The legislation mandates a five-year review be undertaken to look at the impact of reforms to date and where we need to take the system in the future.

By 2022, our vision is that Australia’s aged care system will:

  • be sustainable and affordable, long into the future
  • provide diverse and rewarding career options
  • encourage aged care businesses to invest and grow
  • offer greater choice and flexibility for consumers
  • support people to stay at home, and part of their communities, for as long as possible.

More information

Last updated: