The Federal Government announced a plan to invest a further $48 million over four years to expand the GP Panels Initiative to increase access to GP and allied health services for residents of aged care facilities.
The Minister for Ageing, Christopher Pyne, said that under the expanded Panels Initiative, doctors would continue to have a central role in providing services in aged care facilities.
“Aged Care Panels funding could be used to remunerate GPs and allied health providers for the provision of quality improvement activities, to provide incentives for GPs and allied health workers to provide care in residential aged care facilities, and to improve communication between Aged Care facilities and primary care providers,” Mr Pyne said.
However, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) has said the policy would do nothing to improve health services for residents of aged care facilities.
“The Panels initiative fails to address the majority of those barriers and will never have a significant impact on increasing the number of GP visits to residential aged care facilities,” said the Chair of the AMA’s Committee on Care of Older People, Dr Peter Ford.