27/07/18 - AMA highlights urgency of increased aged care funding
- The Australian Medical Association has released survey results indicating that 1 in 3 GPs are planning to cut back on visits to residential aged care facilities
- One of the key reasons offered was the inadequacy of Medicare funding
- Aged care funding has been cut repeatedly in recent years
- The AMA survey highlights the general inadequacy of funding for ageing services
The Aged Care Industry Association (ACIA) has welcomed the Australian Medical Association’s release of survey results suggesting that 1 in 3 General Practitioners who visit residential aged care facilities (RACFs) are planning to cut back in the next two years.
The Association, which represents aged care providers, said that this highlighted the funding pressures being felt all across the ageing services sector.
CEO Luke Westenberg said, “The feedback from GPs suggests that Medicare funding for services to aged care residents is inadequate. Coming after repeated funding cuts in recent years including abolition of the Payroll Tax Supplement, indexation freezes and reductions in subsidies, this just highlights that aged care is not receiving the support it needs.”
“Provision of high-quality aged care can only be achieved with appropriate levels of funding. If inadequate funding leads to fewer GP visits, more residents will end up in hospital – rather than in the facility in which they have chosen to live and receive care.”
“Unnecessary hospitalisation is a bad outcome for residents – and, in the end, it costs the Commonwealth more money that proper care funding would have.”
ACIA calls on the Federal Government to acknowledge the unsustainability of current funding, and to commit to a funding level that will support older Australians.
“You can’t get blood from a stone, and you can’t sustain, let alone increase, care quality with constant funding cuts. It’s time aged care was funded properly, so we don’t end up with withdrawal of services and distress for older Australians.”