Survey finds support for health-care overhaul
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/02/2012 -- An overwhelming majority of people in Australia think the elderly should shoulder part of the cost of their own care.
A recent survey by Menzies-Nous that looked at health and elder-care issues found 92% of respondents believe people with the means should pay for at least part of their elder care.
“An overwhelming majority of older Australians recognize and are prepared to meet some individual costs associated with aged care,” Gillian McFee, a top adviser at Nous Group, told AAP.
She said the findings of the survey support plans by the government to reform the system of care for the elderly. A proposal to separate care and accommodation charges was announced in April.
“It’s a tick for the general direction,” McFee said.
Starting in the middle of 2014, charges would be $25,000 a year for elder residential care and as much as $10,000 annually for home care, with a lifetime limit set at $60,000. The proposal would enable nursing homes to set charges for cases that involve intense care.
The Menzies-Nous survey found that 77% of Australians think the elderly should not have to sell their homes to cover the cost of care. The administration of Julia Gillard has pledged to create exemptions for family homes based on wealth measures.
Most Australians would prefer in-home care to elder-care centers, McFee said, and 91% want to government to do more. McFee added that satisfaction rates are “very low” for residential care.
But people are more satisfied with the health-care system in general than they were four years ago, the survey found. About 54% of respondents think the system needs an overhaul. By contrast, 63% felt that way in 2008.
More Australians think the health-care system is working “pretty well.” The number in 2012 has gone to 37% from 21% that was previously surveyed.
Fewer people now demand “radical reform,” said the Menzies Center deputy director.
“But there is still over 50% who want major reform and the change may be partly because it’s less in the news,” James Gillespie told AAP.
He added that the change in sentiment since 2008 has come mainly from urban areas.
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