Putting health care back into aged careDescription
Older people have the same right to quality healthcare as any Australian. Sadly, this right is often not realised, as the Royal Commission has shown. High quality and coordinated healthcare is not the experience of many older people in the aged care system.
Meanwhile, health care for older people is getting more complex, not less. Increasing life expectancy and an ageing population means greater complexity of medical care in old age and increased demand for aged care and health care services now and in the future.
Reform is desperately needed because the scale of the problem is growing, but the system is already struggling. At the heart of the problem is the fact that aged care and healthcare operate as separate systems that enable very little or no continuity of care for older people. A detailed example of a patient journey is provided, which outlines the AMA’s vision of what the patient journey should look like, juxtaposed with what currently happens.
This is all to the detriment of not only the health outcomes and quality of life of our older people, but also to public finances and the sustainability of our hospitals. The AMA estimates that if governments invested sufficiently in health and aged care, over four years (2021–22 to 2024–25), $21.2 billion could be saved in public and private healthcare from avoidable hospital admissions, presentations and stays from older people in the community or in nursing homes.
With the scale of the problem growing and the system already struggling, the Government should use the momentum from the Royal Commission to implement substantial and comprehensive reform of the aged care system.
What is missing from the current direction of reforms is a plan to ensure that the healthcare and aged care systems work together and complement each other in the future. The AMA provides this plan in this report, with detailed costings provided for select proposals.
Explain key components of the report
List main recommendations
- Recognise the benefits as a result of implementing the vision.
This module has been accredited by ACRRM for 2 PDP.