The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has called for an update of the aged care accreditation standards to include an outcome about appropriate medical care from doctors.
The association’s president, Dr Rosanna Capolingua said proper medical care was crucial for frail aged people.
“It’s time that facilitating access to medical care by elderly residents becomes a part of the routine assessment of residential aged care facilities,” she said.
“In addition, to ensure all residents have access to high quality health care, the federal government should introduce proper patient rebates that recognise the comprehensive management and medical care undertaken by doctors.”
Dr Capolingua said the government’s recent initiatives to increase the number of GP visits to aged care facilities was a start but more incentives were needed to allow doctors to spend appropriate time managing patient care and consulting with facility staff and relatives.
She also called on the government to encourage more skilled nurses to join the sector by making provisions for wage parity with the acute sector.
“People in residential aged care have a right to access the same quality of medical and nursing care, and rehabilitation facilities, as their counterparts living in the community,” said Dr Capolingua.