Better GP access for aged care residents
Aged care residents now have better access to GPs in their own home following the success of the Australian Government’s Aged Care GP Panels initiative.
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29 June 2005
Aged care residents now have better access to GPs in their own home following the success of the Australian Government’s Aged Care GP Panels initiative, the Federal Minister for Ageing, Julie Bishop, announced today.
"The most current statistics show that there are now around 870 GPs working with more than 1,100 aged care homes across Australia through the panels initiative," Ms Bishop said.
"Australia's ageing population means that more older Australians living in aged care homes will seek access to their local doctor while in residential aged care.
"That is why the Australian Government introduced the Aged Care GP Panels initiative, part of the 2004 Strengthening Medicare package.
"The $33.3 million initiative provides funding to GPs to work with aged care homes to improve care for residents, including through cooperative rostering arrangements.
"Funding is also provided to the 120 Divisions of General Practice across Australia who have signed up to the initiative to assist doctors in their aged care work, including through education and training, as well as medication management and information technology support.
"These panels not only increase residents' access to GPs, but they also ensure GPs can work with aged care homes to improve resident care generally.
"Ensuring that aged care homes have doctors available to maintain resident’s health, not just when there is an emergency, is an important part of improving the quality of care, and quality of life, of aged care residents."
"In addition to the funding provided under the Aged Care GP Panels initiative, the Australian Governmen's Strengthening Medicare package also provided GPs with extra incentives through a new Medicare item for comprehensive medical assessments for aged care residents.
"Together with our record funding for aged care, these initiatives are helping us to realise our vision for a world class aged care system that provides high quality, affordable and accessible services to meet the individual needs and choices of older Australians," Ms Bishop said.
Media contact: Rachael Thompson 0417 265 289
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