Minister for Health and Aged Care Sussan Ley’s response to my question in Parliament today about overcharging by service providers for Home Care Packages is very disappointing. While the Minister did acknowledge there are some problems in the sector, she seemed to be dismissive of my finding that the problem is systemic and was unrealistically optimistic that any planned changes would remedy the situation.
The fact is that we have a situation where some of the most vulnerable people in society are being charged as much as $165 an hour for basic services as a result of there being a cap on fees but no floor on what will be delivered for that fee. As a result some service providers are delivering very little and padding out the invoice with ridiculous administrative charges which in some cases is quadrupling the total bill.
I am grateful that the Minister showed a willingness to discuss the cases that are coming to my attention and I will do that as soon as practicable. I will take that opportunity to impress upon her just how widespread the rorting seems to be.