Staying home won’t cure predicted aged care shortfall

DOCTORS have warned against keeping older Australians in their homes longer as a solution to a predicted 279,000 shortfall in residential aged care places by 2050. 

The warning follows a new report by Access Economics, revealing the scale of the shortage faced by healthcare providers as Australia’s population ages.

AMA aged care spokesperson Dr Wayne Herdy said if a Productivity Commission recommendation in the report that aged patients be kept in their own homes longer was adopted by government, it would create “even greater problems with healthcare for older Australians”.

Dr Herdy said the commission’s recommendations did not consider access issues. 

“From the point of view of getting health practitioners – whether it is doctors or nurses or any other health practitioner – out to a person’s home involves a very significant amount of access time,” Dr Herdy said