(Australian Associated Press)
An extra 13,500 spots will be made available at residential aged care centres across Australia in the coming years, with the federal government set to spend $907 million each year on the fresh places.
The new spots have been approved through a process in which aged care operators vie for public funds.
Australians with financial challenges, who are Indigenous or from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex communities will have priority access to almost a quarter of the places.
When they become available will vary, depending on the time taken for aged care providers to undertake necessary constructions.
The Morrison government will also spend $60 million on such construction projects, to build new aged care homes and extend others.
More than 5,000 of the new places are based in regional areas, in an effort to tackle challenges faced by those communities.
“Every one of these new places will mean senior Australians can age with more confidence, knowing they have future care options in locations as close as possible to their families and communities, whether in the city of the country.” Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt says.
The announcement comes after the government announced last month it would spend an extra $662 million on aged care, including rolling out $320 million to residential facilities by June to boost services.