COAG Health Services - Improving Care for Older Patients in Public Hospitals

A significant $152.7 million package will improve the capacity of hospitals to provide more appropriate longer-term care for older people when necessary and to improve services to assist older Australians to access residential aged care when they need it.

Page last updated: 09 May 2006

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Why is this important?

  • Some older patients in public hospitals no longer require acute hospital care but experience delays in accessing more appropriate forms of care. In rural areas this may be due to fewer aged care options, while in urban areas people with high complexity and/or high cost care needs may have difficulty accessing residential aged care places. This initiative seeks to put in place programmes that will address the needs of older people experiencing these problems in both rural and urban areas.

Who will benefit?

  • Frail older people in public hospitals will benefit significantly from the programme. In rural areas the initiative will focus on improving the capacity for public hospitals to provide more age friendly services. In urban areas the programmes will aim to reduce inappropriate hospital admissions, improve inpatient services and improve the transition to appropriate long term care.

What funding is the Government committing to the initiative?

  • This measure forms part of the Government’s contribution to the COAG Health Services Package, as announced on 10 February 2006.
  • The Government will provide $152.7 million over five years to this programme. This will complement the joint Commonwealth, state and territory cost-shared Transition Care Programme which aims to help older people return home after a hospital stay rather than enter residential care.

What have we done in the past?

  • The Government funds a wide range of programmes to assist older people requiring care.

When will the initiative conclude?

  • This initiative will be reviewed in the 2010-11 Budget.

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