Cabanda future in question

Cabanda Aged Care at Rosewood is under pressure due to inequities in the federal funding model and rising input costs.

Cabanda Care is a community owned charitable organisation which provides nursing home care and

other care services to the local community within Rosewood and surrounding districts. Like the

majority of aged care facilities within Australia, Cabanda is struggling to maintain financial viability

within the restrictive guidelines administered by the Federal Government.

Resident fees are regulated by the Federal Government and Cabanda is unable to increase fees while

there are never ending increases in operational costs including food, electricity, council fees and

staff wages.

Rosewood has a town rating of MMM2 under the government’s funding models and therefore is

unable to access subsidies and funds usually available for small communities. This funding may

include grants to assist with new buildings, staffing or the purchase of new equipment.

The inability of Cabanda to increase income is creating short term and long term financial stress for

the organisation. The announcement in July 2023 of 15% pay increase to aged care staff (in addition

to the 5.75% CPI increase) followed by the announcement last week (March 2024) of further

increases up to 14% is concerning as these increases have not been fully funded by the Government.

Cabanda is relying on internal funds to cover these costs.

This impacts on Cabanda’s capacity to raise capital funds to cover the cost of capital works including

renovations to existing buildings, replacing assets, and planning new and additional nursing home

beds. Plans to upgrade and/or expand Cabanda are on hold until the raising of capital funds can be

secured.

In addition to the above, the requirement for compliance and reporting has increased significantly

under the guise of ‘open transparency’. All areas of expenditure are now scrutinized and publicly

available through the My Aged Care website. We are not aware of any other business where

information such has staff pay rates, food costs, staff hours and general housekeeping costs are on

display and openly available. Funds are being redirected from the care of residents to provide

regular and ongoing reporting on financial and operational outcomes.

The recently released Final report of the Aged Care Taskforce has a number of recommendations to

help improve the financial viability of the aged care sector by introducing increased fees and charges

for ‘wealthy’ Australians. It remains to see the outcomes from this report as some recommended

changes do not take effect until 2035. Who knows the viability of the sector until then.

Cabanda Care has a long term commitment within Rosewood to continue to provide high quality

care and services for the elderly and frail within our community and surrounds. Unless the

Government either provides additional funding or allows additional income sources to be accessed,

the future viability of Cabanda remains in question.