Malcolm Turnbull

PM confronted over aged care cuts

NSW Premier Mike Baird, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and local MP for Eden-Monaro Peter Hendy in Merimbula Source: AAP

The prime minister has been confronted during a street walk in Merimbula over his government's cuts to aged care.

A former aged-care worker has confronted Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over his government's cuts to the sector.

The May 3 budget cut $1.2 billion from the amount the government pays aged-care providers to address what it says is unsustainable spending.

"I'd like to know one of the reasons why you've reduced the funding for complex care needs of people in aged care," Diane Lang said as she approached Mr Turnbull during a street walk through Merimbula on the NSW Far South Coast on Monday.

Mr Turnbull insisted the government was spending more on aged care each year.

"What we're constantly trying to do is make sure we get better outcomes," he said.

He told Ms Lang she had great ideas and would arrange a meeting between her and Health Minister Sussan Ley when she next visited the region.

The 59-year-old nurse, who previously worked in aged care, says by her calculations the government cuts will remove $3.57 from each patient every day.

"That doesn't seem like a lot but for some of those people, $5 a day is their food budget," she told AAP.

"The people that come into nursing homes now are much, much older and they're much more dependent on care workers."

While Ms Lang admits there are some bad providers doing the wrong thing, cutting funding isn't the answer.

Between the aged-care cuts and the government's Medicare indexation freeze, the self-confessed Labor voter says Mr Turnbull hasn't won her over.

"Neither of them are good but I know that the Labor party will probably provide better care for Medicare and better social services."

Ms Ley has said the changes to aged care are about "putting consumers, not the aged-care provider, in charge of their later years".

The May budget said expenditure on the aged care funding instrument would be expected to blow out by $3.8 billion over the next four years without action.

The government will reinvest $249 million to improve aged care, including $102 million to help providers in rural and remote areas better manage cost pressures they face due to their isolation and small size.

It's also spending $136 million on the My Aged Care contact centre to meet increasing demand from consumers trying to navigate the system.

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