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Aged care to get bulk of extra $1.4bn in Covid response money

Australia will spend  $1.4 billion to continue support for aged care providers and other facilities battling Covid-19.

September 19, 2022
By Peter Bodkin
19 September 2022

The Albanese government will spend a further $1.4 billion to deal with the impact of Covid-19, with most of the funding going to aged care providers.

The money will be used for continuing a range of response measures that were due to expire on 30 September but will be extended until the end of the year.

The package includes financial support for aged care staff as well as funding for Covid-19 tests, protective equipment and medication.

More than 3000 people have died with the virus in Australian aged care facilities this year, almost triple the number of deaths that occurred in the first two years of the pandemic.

Most of the extra money will go towards aged care support. (Danny Lawson/PA)

The government has been under pressure to respond to the mounting toll with more support for aged care centres.

More than $840 million from the funding will go towards the government’s aged care support program, while more than $235 million will be earmarked for protective equipment, tests and other supplies from the national medical stockpile for aged care, disability care and other services.

Health Minister Mark Butler said the funding would provide people with effective testing, medical care and treatments to protect the most vulnerable in the community.

“These investments also provide ongoing support and protection for our frontline health and aged care workers, and people living in residential aged care homes, as well as those people supporting the most vulnerable to severe illness from Covid‑19,” he said.

The announcement comes as public health experts express optimism that the pandemic may be nearing its end, with global deaths due to the virus in decline.

Last week, Australia recorded 279 Covid-related deaths and more than 40,000 new cases.

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