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Australia Aged care royal commission continues in Canberra with focus on health care services, GP-patient relationships

23:25  08 december  2019
23:25  08 december  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

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  Disability advocates inundated over RC Counselling, advocacy and other support services are being ramped up for people wanting to share their experiences with the disability royal commission. Advocates have been inundated by people seeking help to share their stories of abuse and neglect with th Disability Advocacy Network Australia chief executive Mary Mallett said some support groups have been scrambling to support people wanting to make a submission and those appearing at public hearings.

The Hearing had a particular focus on aged care services in the Mudgee region. The Brisbane Hearing inquired into the regulation of aged care , with a focus on quality and safety and how aspects of the current regulatory system operate.

Aged care services topics. The following content is displayed as Tabs. Once you have activated a link navigate to the end of the list to view its associated content. The Commonwealth Government has established a Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

Warning: This article contains details that may be distressing to some readers

The shocking accounts of abuse, neglect and substandard levels of care in Australia's aged care sector will be back in the spotlight this week as the Aged Care Royal Commission holds its next public hearing in Canberra.

The Royal Commission's interim report, delivered in October, was so damning, it saw the Federal Government quickly pledge more than half a billion dollars to the sector.

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Under our health care system, government organizations such as the U.S. Preventative Task Force (USPTF) can set policy and greatly influence how physicians practice. Their recommendations directly affect reimbursement and help determine what tests and procedures CMS and Medicare will cover.

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety is a royal commission established on 8 October 2018 by the Australian government pursuant to the Royal Commissions Act 1902. The Honourable Richard Tracey AM RFD QC and Ms Lynelle Briggs AO were appointed as Royal

Of that money, $25 million is to be spent on medication programs to reduce the use of chemical restraints — the practice of prescribing medications to subdue a person in care.

Hundreds of millions of dollars will be put towards more homecare packages.

But, as the Commission makes its way to Canberra this week, doctors argue there is still a lot more to be addressed.

Poor access to mental health services

The royal commission will now focus on the provision of health care services in aged care. (Pixabay: sabinevanerp) © ABC Health The royal commission will now focus on the provision of health care services in aged care. (Pixabay: sabinevanerp) The Royal Commission's focus this week will be on the provision of primary health services in the aged care system, along with specialist treatment and palliative care.

High on the agenda will be the access that older Australians have to mental health services — an issue that especially concerns Ian Yates, CEO of the Councils on the Ageing (COTA) Australia.

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palliative care services provided by a registered palliative care charity or a community interest company. The Standard General Medical Services Contract and the National Health Service However, all refused asylum seekers can continue , free of charge, with any course of treatment

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He said access to such services among older Australians was poor and subject to some of the ageism that the royal commission had already called out.

"Once a person is in residential aged care, there is a strong tendency across Australia for them to not have the same kind of access to the health system as they used to when they were living in the community," he said.

"That's not fair, it shouldn't happen."

Ian Yates, CEO of COTA. © AAP Image/James Elsby Ian Yates, CEO of COTA. Mr Yates also argued there was an assumption that the aged care system looked after everything, including issues of separation, loneliness and depression.

But it did not.

He agreed there were complex financial issues that needed to be addressed but said in some cases it was simply the GPs working within the system who were to blame.

"There are doctors who will say, 'ah well, getting depressed goes with getting older'," he said. 

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Participating health centers offer a wide range of free or low-cost healthcare services to patients , including primary care , pharmacy, mental health , substance use disorder and oral health services .5. Beyond treatment services , the health centers in the HRSA network also focus on health education

Health care , health - care , or healthcare is the maintenance or improvement of health via the prevention, diagnosis, treatment or recovery of disease, illness, injury

Mr Yate said older Australians, particularly those in aged care, also had fewer choices and were often left with a rushed visit from a visiting GP.

"That's not the same as if you turned up to a doctor in their rooms and had the opportunity to talk about your issues and be examined properly," he said.

Mr Yates admitted there were GPs who did a really good job but said they often carried the bulk of the load and that the medical community must figure out a way to incentivise doctors to provide better care.

Calls for a completely new model of aged care

Aged Care workers have gathered to give evidence to the Aged Care Royal Commission's public forums. © AAP Image/Sam Wundke Aged Care workers have gathered to give evidence to the Aged Care Royal Commission's public forums. Others, meanwhile, have said the public health care sector was simply up against new challenges managing the requirements of an ageing population — and that a completely new model of care was crucial.

Dr Sachin Patel has worked in aged care for 14 years and is the founder of Aged Care GP — a body that wants to change the way general practice is delivered to the sector.

He said the current model was about 40 years old and that aged care facilities were increasingly like hospital wards.

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The Althea Wellness Centre offers health care services to anyone impacted by alcohol, drugs or other addictions, and does not have a GP . The Centre focuses on providing a complete approach to health care by supporting clients and their families to live healthier lives.

Primary health care covers health care that is not related to a hospital visit, including health Primary health care services are delivered in settings such as general practices, community health Access to bulk-billed GP attendances (consultations for which no co-payment is charged to the patient ) is a

"The requirements for care — both personal and medical — are significantly higher than they used to be," he explained.

"The model that requires GPs to run a practice, as well as aged care requirements, doesn't work anymore."

Dr Patel's proposed model of care would see GPs with sub-specialities, or aged care GPs, spend their entire day working in the sector.

He said he was hopeful the royal commission would listen carefully to his argument.

"Residents in aged care should not be an afterthought, they should be first and foremost in the minds of those who are delivering the care," he said. 

"If you had a hospital ward, where a geriatrician only came for half an hour a week, would you be happy (about) that? Of course not."

GP-patient relationship 'very important'

The current aged care model is © Getty The current aged care model is "40 years old" and needs updating. Michael Bleasdale from the ACT Disability, Aged and Carer Advocacy Service will also attend the royal commission, advocating for individuals to have their choice of medical practitioner — particularly in the aged care sector.

"The GP relationship is very important between individuals," he said.

"They've got the history and they understand the person."

Mr Bleasdale said an individual's health could suffer if they were forced to change GPs when they moved into a residential aged care facility.

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Some of our core services . Personal care . This care enabled her to continue to live at home, which was her wish. At all times Reliant provided the care that was needed in kind and gracious manner. Why we are hopeful about the Aged Care Royal Commission .

Access to health services means "the timely use of personal health services to achieve the best Accessing a location where needed health care services are provided (geographic availability). Access to care often varies based on race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age , sex, disability status

He acknowledged there was very little room in the current healthcare landscape for GPs to manage home or aged care facility visits.

But he said the issue was a very dangerous one.

"There have been stories, unfortunately, of people with very serious health conditions who have not been treated in a timely fashion, and as a result, they have died," he said. 

Mr Bleasdale also said the current aged care system was built around functional needs, rather than the importance of interpersonal relationships.

He said Australia should instead look to countries like The Netherlands which focused on building relationships between the young and old.

There, university students were offered affordable housing in aged care facilities, in exchange for time spent with their older housemate.

"The Netherlands and northern Europe — they are not even experimenting, it's part of their system now, and I think that's great," he said.

"We need to have an aged care sector which has the confidence to do those sorts of things.

"I am hoping that, maybe, as a result of the aged care royal commission, we will feel much more bold and innovative to do some of those things in the future."

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