Two-and-a-half months after the Federal Government’s original target to have all aged care residents and staff vaccinated against COVID, Health Minister Greg Hunt says 100% of Australia’s 2,566 aged care facilities have received a visit to provide a COVID-19 vaccination.
Mr Hunt (pictured above) added that 94% had received a second visit and 109 visits are planned to aged care homes this week.
In addition, Mr Hunt said the Government is enlisting General Practitioners to visit people in residential aged care and disability facilities and in their homes to administer the COVID-19 vaccine.
“They will be paid $56.75 plus the vaccination fee for the first patient they visit in residential aged care facility, in a disability home, or where you have individuals who are frail or immobile and unable to leave their own homes,” said Mr Hunt, who agreed on the home visitation payment program in talks with the AMA, the College of GPs and the College of Rural and Remote Medicine.
Minister Hunt added that with around 60,000 people entering residential care every year, a continuous vaccination program will be needed.
“So, that in-home visitation fee will assist, whether it’s with the elderly, the frail, the immobile, those with disabilities, to provide access for all of Australia’s 30,000 plus GPs to choose if they so wish to be part of the program.”
Melbourne-based aged care provider TLC Healthcare (TLC) also confirmed on Tuesday it has been appointed by the Department of Health to vaccinate thousands of aged care residents in Melbourne and Geelong who were unable to be immunised during the initial vaccination program.
“Over the next five weeks, TLC’s immunisation team will be visiting over 100 residential aged care homes to assist with the vaccination of residents and staff who were not able to receive their doses from the Aspen Health immunisation teams,” said TLC CEO Lou Pascuzzi (pictured right).
TLC has its own medical centres on site at its aged care homes, making the rollout of a vaccination program a more straightforward process.