2017 AMA Aged Care Survey Report

26 Jul 2018

This week, AMA President Dr Tony Bartone in his Press Club address announced the release of the 2017 AMA Aged Care Survey Report (the survey). The survey sought feedback on AMA members’ impressions and experiences with providing medical care in the context of the aged care system. The survey focussed mainly on medical care in residential aged care facilities (RACFs).

The survey asked AMA members to prioritise which methods they believe are the most urgently needed to improve access to medical care in RACFs. The methods that received the two highest ‘urgent’ and ‘extremely urgent’ ratings were:

  • improve availability of suitably trained and experienced nurses and other health professionals (65.92 per cent), and
  • increase funding for medical practitioners (57.55 per cent).

Other highly urgent methods include:

  • improve access to palliative care services (54.10 per cent),
  • improve access to mental health services in RACFs (53.17 per cent), and
  • reduce polypharmacy to reduce the risk of adverse health events in older people (51.23 per cent).

The results of the survey reinforce the AMA’s Resourcing aged care position statement. The statement calls for a regulated minimum number of registered nurses in RACFs, in line with the care needs of current residents, that are available 24-hours a day.

The survey also supports the call to increase funding for medical practitioners to visit RACFs. As well as being the second highest ‘urgent’ and ‘extremely urgent’ method to improve medical care in RACFs, the opportunity cost of visiting RACFs was reported to be a major influencer to decrease, or never, visit RACFs by survey respondents.

Link to the survey