The key to aged care transformation is consumer choice

11 May 2021

The Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals (BCCM) welcomes the Government’s recognition of the aged care sector in this evening’s budget announcement.

BCCM CEO, Melina Morrison said the budget was a clear acknowledgement of the seriousness of the findings from the Royal Commission.

“The challenge now is to ensure this investment is a catalyst for the essential cultural and governance changes the sector needs to truly transform itself and deliver a rights-based approach to aged care,” Morrison said.

“The evidence regarding the impact of employee-ownership on employee and consumer engagement, and the flow on effects for service quality, is compelling. As a people centred business model, co-operative and mutual enterprises (CMEs) provide an option for structuring aged care services that put the needs of older Australians and the people who care for them first.

“Aged care is a sector dominated by women and, through an employee-ownership model, we can go further to empower women to take control of their careers and deliver care that is truly aligned with their customer’s needs and their own values,” said Morrison.

“The dollar value of the government’s investment can pay dividends by piloting new models of ownership that will increase the diversity of providers giving consumers more choice and control.

“Promoting diversity among providers is the key to a transformation in aged care.”

Earlier this year, BCCM released a report Action to Empower: Why Australia needs more co-operative and mutual enterprises in health, community and social services. The report finds that business model innovation will be key to successfully transforming the aged care sector to improve the outcomes for Australians and the ROI of tax-payer funded aged care.

Action to Empower calls for greater diversity and choice in Australian health, community and social services in Australia. It argues for more co-operative and mutual enterprises in Australia’s aged care system as a way to diversify service provision, empower aged care workers and increase choice for consumers.

In Action to Empower, the Council advocates strategies for fostering a culture of innovation in aged care by:

  1. Increase awareness of co-operative and mutual enterprises in aged care reform
  2. Demonstrate how ownership can drive different outcomes in aged care
  3. Creating an opportunity for innovation hubs in areas of need highlighted by the Royal Commission, and
  4. Involving co-operative and mutual enterprises in aged care reforms to help achieve cultural change in aged care.

Read Action to Empower in full.

Listen to Melina Morrison talking to Fran Kelly about Action to Empower and Aged Care on ABC Breakfast.

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