Aged care – improved health services for residents of aged care homes

By increasing rebates, at a cost of $92.9 million, this measure will encourage GPs to see more patients in aged care facilities, and will also improve access by aged care residents to other health professionals.

Page last updated: 08 May 2007

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Why is this important?

  • Older Australians in residential aged care facilities need ready access to General Practitioners (GPs) and other health services, such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and oral health.

Who will benefit?

  • This measure will encourage GPs to see more patients in aged care facilities through increases in Medicare rebates of up to $18 for GP attendances in aged care facilities and $17.55 for GP contributions to care plans.
  • An additional 95,000 GP services to older Australians will be funded over four years through improved Medicare Benefits Schedule incentives.
  • Residential aged care residents will also benefit from the expansion of the successful Aged Care GP Panels initiative. The initiative aims to improve access to primary medical care for residents of aged care homes and to enable GPs to work with the aged care homes to assist with quality improvement strategies for the care of all residents.
  • It also improves access to allied health professionals such as physiotherapists and dietitians in aged care facilities by including them in the Aged Care GP Panels Initiative.

What funding is the Government committing to the initiative?

  • This measure will cost $92.9 million over four years.

What have we done in the past?

  • Since 1 July 2004, the Government has allocated $33.4 million to Aged Care GP Panels to provide better medical care and support to residents of aged care facilities.

When will the initiative conclude?

  • Funding for this program will be ongoing.

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