Health Needs Ignored in Aged Care Reforms – AMA
Tuesday, 7th August 2012 at 10:43 am
The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has criticised the Federal Government’s Living Longer Living Stronger Aged Care Reform policies for not placing a higher priority on the medical needs of older Australians.
“The health needs of older Australians are not being given top priority,” AMA President Dr Hambleton said.
“There will be no discussion about securing medical and nursing services for older Australians who are living independently or in residential aged care facilities.
“The Living Longer Living Better package gives medical care little attention.
“The package has funding for medical practitioners to make a more timely diagnosis of dementia, and for palliative care, but the amount of funding for these services is yet to be specified.”
The Minister for Ageing Mark Butler discussed the Aged Care reform package in Adelaide at the inaugural 2012 National Aged Care Conference this week.
Announced in April, the Living Longer Living Better package provides $3.7 billion over five years which the Federal Government says will build a better, fairer and more nationally consistent aged care system.
Minister Butler told the Adelaide conference the Government’s 10-year plan would deliver more choice and control, easier access, and better quality care for older Australians and their families.
“This is a very complex, multi-layered policy and it has many implementation challenges, but I'm confident that it has strong community support,” he said.
The Chair of the Aged Form Reform Implementation Council, Peter Shergold, told the conference that in evaluating reforms as they’re implemented there are certain questions: what’s working and why? what’s not working and why not?
“I look to a future in which aged care provision will be driven more by the people actually using the system and less by government regulation. Policy implementation is about process,” Shergold said.