Aged Care – Improving Clinical Care in an Era of Financial Constraint

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Friday, May 24, 2019 - 14:30

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Ms Pat Sparrow
Prof Andrew Robinson
Ms Annie Butler
Ms Janet Anderson
Dr Chris Davis

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Australia is facing an ageing population. In 2017, 15 per cent of Australia’s population was aged 65 years and over, and this is expected to grow to 22 per cent by 2057. Despite the increasing prevalence of chronic, complex medical conditions in the ageing population, older people are facing barriers to access quality clinical care in aged care settings. Health-related Aged Care Accreditation Standards remain some of the most frequent outcomes not met by residential aged care facilities (RACFs), including Clinical Care, Medication Management, and Skin Care. Doctors face several barriers to visit their patients in aged care settings, stemming from a lack of support from the health and aged care systems, and the industry itself.  

Government spending on aged care was approximately $18 billion in 2017-18, and the need for funding support will only continue to grow. While the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety is underway, debate continues across stakeholders about how to sustainably improve clinical care in aged care settings. How can the health and aged care systems work together to ensure older people’s health care needs are met, no matter their location? The AMA has been advocating for a staff to resident ratio that reflects level of care need and ensures 24-hour registered nurse on-site availability. The AMA has been strong in its advocacy to increase the Medicare rebate for GP visits to ensure residents receive timely access to medical services.  

In this session, delegates will hear from a range of aged care stakeholders, from regulation, to industry, workforce, and academia, to answer the question - how do we provide for, regulate, and drive an improved aged care sector with adequate resources, staff, and clinical care while at the same time making aged care sustainable and affordable for providers, older people, and governments? This discussion will further inform and mould AMA’s aged care priorities and policies.