13 May 2013

Aged care groups against premium-only facilities

10:21 pm on 13 May 2013

A government proposal allowing up to 20% of rest home beds to be in premium-only facilities is meeting resistance from groups in the aged care industry.

Premium rooms have extras such as en-suites for which residents can pay an additional $30 a day.

A discussion document was released by the Government in December 2010 saying rest home providers want to operate premium-only facilities to meet demand from residents.

Age Concern chief executive Ann Martin said on Monday she is opposed to the proposal as it could lead to a shortage of standard rooms.

The Aged Care Association, which represents 80% of rest home providers, says about 67% of rooms are standard and the proposal is unlikely to change that.

Ryman Healthcare operates 25 rest homes and chief executive Simon Challies says he is opposed to premium-only facilities.

"We always set aside rooms within our facilities for people who can't afford to pay a premium; we have rooms available often that are subsidy only rate.

"We feel a moral obligation to provide that, so we're not in favour of seeing a premium-only facility."