There were only nice surprises in the aged-care funding announced by the Treasurer last night, with the government seemingly set to overhaul the sector with a $17.7 billion cash-splash over the next five years.

Roughly a third of that will go towards a raft of measures for aged-care workers, which will include schemes to increase staffing levels as well as intensive training.

According to the government, the sector needs an additional 57,000 workers over the next several years to keep pace with the new 80,000 increase in the number of home care places.

The Budget spend was  partly in response to the Royal Commission on Aged Care, which amongst others, recommended minimum requirements and skill level to be implemented for staffing.

The Budget also seems to have pleased both sectors of the economy, the profits and the non-profits.

UnitingCare, the non-profit national body for the Uniting Church’s community services network in Australia, was happy with the result but says more can still be done for the vulnerable.

“We are pleased to see the $17.7 billion investment in aged care over 5 years and commend the Government’s commitment to transformation,” the written statement from UnitingCare said.

“However, until every child, young person, family and individual is out of poverty and has a roof over their head, we will remain focussed on those who are left out.”

Investors were definitely pleased with the Budget result, and drove most aged care stocks higher in today’s trading.

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Japara Healthcare (ASX:JHC) rose by almost 6 per cent today. The company is a leading aged care provider with 33 homes in Victoria. The company was heavily impacted during the July-October 2020 period, when Victoria was under lockdown. Despite that obstacle, Japara was able to bounce back and recorded $220m revenue for the half year, which was up 3.6 per cent.

Estia Health (ASX:EHE), which is currently the biggest aged-care stock on the ASX by market cap, also saw a rise in its share price today. The company has homes in Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland. The pandemic also impacted its Victorian homes, with 110 of its residents and 117 employees testing positive to COVID-19.

Its last half saw profits plunging by 137 per cent for a loss of $5.3 million, after costs ballooned and occupancies fell.

However, the biggest winner in aged-care stocks today was tech company InteliCare (ASX:ICR), which rose by 9 per cent. The company helps seniors to live independently at home, without the presence of caregiver. It offers a suite of products, such as the InteliLiving app and smart home sensors.

Reacting to the budget, InteliCare CEO Jason Waller says it will boost the role of technology in the aged-care space.

“This budget is a huge tailwind for InteliCare. 80,000 extra home care places creates both extra demand, but there is also funding to boost the role assistive technology plays in meeting that demand.”

“We already have the vast majority of our clients coming through that pathway, so I expect that to increase as the money is rolled out,” Weller added.

Another technology based company that did well today was PainChek (ASX:PCK). PainChek offers pain assesment tool for cognitibely impaired senior residents.

The company is currently contracted to work with more than 70,000 beds in 884 aged care homes. The PainChek app is a smartphone-based medical device that uses artificial intelligence to assess and score pain levels in real-time, and update medical records in the cloud.

At Stockhead, we tell it like it is. While Intelicare is a Stockhead advertiser, it did not sponsor this article.