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Minister quizzed on home care fees

AAP logoAAP 14/09/2016 Paul Osborne, AAP Senior Political Writer

Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley says the government expects providers of home-care support packages to charge a "reasonable" fee.

Ms Ley was asked by independent MP Andrew Wilkie in parliament on Wednesday whether it was appropriate for one of his elderly constituents to have been charged $165 an hour for house cleaning and showering.

"It is, I agree, very disappointing to hear about providers who charge such extravagant administration fees and ... we expect them to charge a reasonable fee," the minister said.

Mr Wilkie said while the minister had acknowledged some problems, she dismissed claims of any systemic rorting.

"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," he said in a statement.

"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."

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