More home care essential for ageing population
THE Australian Medical Association has welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement of 6000 extra high-need home care packages, following the release of the Legislated Review of Aged Care 2017 Report, but says more packages are desperately needed.
Health Minister Greg Hunt and Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt announced the packages, along with the long-overdue announcement of $20 million towards fixing the inefficient My Aged Care information system last month.
AMA vice-president Tony Bartone said he was pleased that the review had adopted some of the AMA’S recommendations, particularly on improving the My Aged Care information technology system.
But Dr Bartone he said that the 6000 extra home care packages, while welcome, fell well short of demand.
“The Home Care Packages Program Data Report... notes that at June 30, 2017, there were 53,750 people seeking home care who had not yet been assigned a home care package,” he said.
“While the extra places are welcome, they won’t go far in tackling the enormous backlog of applications.
“It’s one thing to improve the IT system, but we still need beds and packages.
“The government has predicted that the proportion of Australians aged 65 years of age and older will increase to 18 per cent by 2026.”