The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has urged the Commonwealth Government to remove the ongoing barriers to medical services in residential aged care homes.
AMA Presidnet, Dr Capolingua said the government’s “policy inertia” in this area was frustrating GPs and placing facilities under growing pressure.
“Successive governments have done little to actively involve medical care in the daily operations of aged care homes – it’s time for the government to take action,” she said.
“We need to see policies that will effectively bring medical care to frail and sick residents in a timely and suitable manner.”
The AMA’s policy ideas include dedicated Medicare payments for older people accessing GPs, greater support for the use of practice nurses in residential and community settings and increased recurrent funding to meet the real costs of aged care.
The AMA has also highlighted the need for nurses to receive the same pay as their colleagues in the acute sector, saying more skilled nurses are required to deliver high levels of care.
The comments came a day after Dr Capolingua told the National Press Club that more money needed to be invested in IT infrastructure in aged care.