28 August 2015
The NSW government has announced the sale of their Home Care service to mutual provider, Australian Unity, and the reinvestment of $100 million of sale proceeds in the national disability insurance scheme and related services.
Commenting on the sale, chief executive of the BCCM, Melina Morrison recognised the important role of mutual providers in delivering such services to the Australian people.
”The sale of the NSW governments Home Care service to Australian Unity, a BCCM member, highlights the government’s trust in mutuals to provide health and social care services for the elderly and disabled citizens of Australia”, said Ms Morrison.
“Australian Unity is a trusted national brand, a 175 year old institution which has remained true to its mutual origins as a consumer focused, member based business. The sheer size of Home Care service with its 70 per cent market share and 50,000 clients indicates the NSW government believes the transfer of services to the capable hands of a mutual provider is in the best interests of NSW and service users.”
Australian Unity group managing director and chief executive Rohan Mead said Australian Unity would continue to build the business.
“We’re here to stay. We will look after current staff and clients. And we’re here to grow, we want clients to access a continuum of care as their needs change,” he said.
The BCCM White Paper on Public Service Mutuals (PSMs) released in 2014 highlighted the need for a third way to deliver public services which provide accountability and transparency together with the economic efficiencies to meet the demands of an ageing population. This sale sees government deliver on a key recommendation in the White Paper that existing mutuals can provide a great service model following similar recommendations in the McClure Report on the welfare system and the Harper Review into competition policy.
This follows the news that Australian Unity has posted another year of strong growth, resulting in a 16.6 percent increase in profit after tax compared to the previous year.