Looking ahead: The Department of Social Services plans for aged care

July 15, 2014 | Aged Care Finance

Australian aged care is currently of an extremely high standard, with $14 billion per year allotted to the industry, and plans to boost this amount in the near future.

Changes are coming to the sector over the next few years in order to ensure sustainability, affordability and greater levels of choice for consumers. In addition, aged care facilities will be encouraged to grow and expand beyond current operations.

This is according to the Department of Social Services (DSS), which has outlined plans for the sector from 2016-17 through 2012-22.

The coming changes

Through 2016-22, a number of changes are set to be put in place in the sector to ensure sustainable increases to resident numbers.

The changes are being developed in consultation with the industry, in order to best determine areas where attention is required. In addition, the legalisation mandates an independent five-year review, with a similar goal of determining the direction of the future system.

There's no denying the benefits of long-term planning, especially in a sector that's continuously growing.

By 2022, the DSS hopes to have implemented a number of changes in line with the goals below.


Ensuring skilled workers are available to meet the needs of the industry is essential, and forms a primary focus of the long-term DSS planning. It's hoped that diverse and rewarding career options can be provided to those working in the aged care sector.

Sustainability and affordability

Two key facets that are required in any industry, it's essential to ensure quality care remains affordable as numbers grow.

Investment and growth

To ensure care is available for residents when required, it's going to be necessary to encourage growth and investments from aged care businesses. Whether by expanding accommodation or auxiliary facilities, investments will be essential.


The final consideration, and arguably one where the biggest emphasis is required, ensuring consumer choice when it comes to both the facility and services is absolutely essential.