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.”

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