What price quality in aged care? Findings from a national survey of more than 6500 income taxpayers

Julie Ratcliffe, Jyoti Khadka, Sheela Kumaran and Billingsley Kaambwa
Med J Aust 2021; 215 (7): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.51242
Published online: 13 September 2021

Public willingness to pay higher taxes is an important signal, but additional financial pillars are needed

Australia’s aged care sector represents a multibillion dollar industry, predominantly funded publicly through income tax contributions. The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety is currently placing an international spotlight on system shortfalls. Before the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) pandemic, the Australian Medical Association declared Australia’s aged care system to be in crisis, joining with the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation in urging the government to immediately guarantee quality and safety.1 COVID‐19 has further magnified cracks in the system, having recently been described as one that “is rife with substandard care”.2

  • 1 Caring Futures Institute, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA
  • 2 Registry of Senior Australians, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, Adelaide, SA
  • 3 College of Medicine and Public Health, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA


We gratefully acknowledge funding support from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety was involved in the planning of the survey and in commissioning an online panel company to collect the survey data. The co‐authors undertook the final design, analysis and interpretation, and reporting independently of the Commission, and the views expressed in the article are not necessarily those of the Commissioners.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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