Aged care industry turns down beds

MAJOR providers of aged services on the Fraser Coast have shunned the Federal Government's latest offering of 180 bed licences.

The rejection is destined to cause Queensland's worst ration of bed to senior citizens to deteriorate.

This region has only 69.1 beds available for every 1000 people aged 70 or more.

RSL Care, Blue Care and Torbay Retirement Villages Ltd have all declined to take up the beds available in the latest Department of Health and Ageing round of offers.

All companies condemned the Federal Government for plunging the industry into crisis with its funding structure.

RSL Care CEO Ross Smith said the government's approach to administering aged care placed too great a financial strain on providers.

“Competition for the bed licences is declining,” Mr Smith said.

“A few years ago there were 10 applications for every licence.

“These days many of the service providers don't even apply.”

Mr Smith, who is also president of the peak body Aged Care Queensland, criticised the classification of beds into high care and low care, as "not serving the industry well".

Blue Care, the biggest aged care provider in Queensland, said it had not applied for beds for its two Hervey Bay residences.

A Blue Care spokeswoman said it was not financially viable.

Torbay Retirement Villages CEO Phillip Parry said his organisation had abandoned its bid for 40 beds.

He said Torbay had been committed to expansion but could not proceed due to the financial risks.

Health industry professionals privately from across the Fraser Coast believe that none of the 180 beds made available to the region by the Department of Health and Ageing have been the subject of applications.

Submissions to the Department of Health and Ageing for new aged care beds closed on August 2.

The Department of Health and Ageing was contacted for comment but had not responded by deadline.

Topics:  beds fraser coast senior citizens

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