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Minister concerned of 'strain' facing aged care sector

The residential aged care system is under significant strain, with two-thirds of providers making a loss late last year.

The aged care royal commission, which uncovered a system under stress and in dire need of reform, recommended greater transparency of the finances of aged care sector players.

The first release of data, covering the September 2022 quarter before major reforms were rolled out by the Labor government, found 66 per cent of providers making a loss.

Aged Care Minister Anika Wells said stronger reporting and oversight were key to improving the system.

"The snapshot shows the strain a decade of inadequate funding from the coalition has put on the aged care sector," she said on Friday.

The report found aged care residents received an average 187 minutes per day of care, including 34 minutes from registered nurses and 138 from personal care workers.

The government is seeking to lift this to 200 minutes (including 40 from registered nurses) from October and 215 minutes from late 2024.

For-profit and non-profit providers returned a collective net loss before tax of $465.3 million, or $27.90 per resident a day.

A new funding model is being rolled out as well as funding for 24/7 registered nurses and a pay hike for the aged care workforce.

"These changes will support the future of Australia's aged care service providers' finances and operations for the long term," the minister said.

Opposition spokeswoman Anne Ruston said the former coalition government had committed $19.1 billion in extra funding to improve the care of older Australians as part of its royal commission response.

"The Labor government doesn't want to admit that this quarterly report is a reflection of the additional pressures they are putting on the aged care sector, which is already dealing with a serious workforce crisis," Senator Ruston told AAP.

Bringing forward the deadline to have 24/7 registered nurses in every aged home and not providing significant support to help providers meet new requirements would add to the pressure, she said.

"There are serious concerns that this will force aged care facilities to close because they just can't access the required staff, which means residents will be kicked out of their homes and older Australians from rural and regional Australia will be forced to travel miles away from their community to receive support."