The aged care royal commission will focus on the delivery of health services at a hearing in Canberra next week.
The aged care royal commission will focus on the delivery of health services at a hearing in Canberra next week.

Poor health services for some in aged care

ACCESS to health services for people in aged care is like "a patchwork quilt" where some pieces "don't join particularly well", a royal commission has been told.

The aged care royal commission will focus on the delivery of health services at a hearing in Canberra next week.

A number of people will tell the inquiry the difficulties in obtaining access to medical care have exacerbated the poor health of their loved ones living in aged care and have impacted their quality of life.

Lawyers assisting the royal commission said all people receiving aged care should have access to health care services commensurate with their needs, on an equitable basis with the access to health care enjoyed by other Australians.

"Access to health services is perhaps best described as a patchwork quilt where the pieces don't join particularly well," the opening statement by counsel assisting said.

"In some areas with an active primary health network or local hospital network, older people in aged care receive excellent services.

"In other areas, access is much more limited."

Next week's hearing will explore ways the instances of good practice can be systematised so all Australians in aged care are provided with the health care they need and are entitled to receive, counsel assisting said.

Friday's update from the royal commission said there is considerable regional variation in health services available on the ground.

There is little evidence of a systematic approach to providing health care to people in the aged care system, particularly residents in facilities, the statement said.


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