Last Royal Commission hearings for 2019 start next week in Canberra – Department of Health again under scrutiny

Published on

The hearings – to be held from Monday 9 December to Friday 13 December 2019 at the Vibe Hotel (pictured) – will examine the interface between the aged care and health care systems – and it appears yet again the Government will come under fire over its role in providing services to older Australians.

“There is considerable regional variation in services available on the ground, and little evidence of a systematic approach to providing health care to people in the aged care system, particularly residents in facilities,” the press release states. “Collection and analysis of data about the health care of people in aged care leaves significant room for improvement” (it always comes back to data).

Among the issues to be canvassed are:

  • primary health care;
  • secondary (or specialist) health care;
  • the potential for meeting some acute care needs in a community or aged care facility setting rather than in hospital;
  • palliative care and advance care directives;
  • transfers to Emergency Departments and other hospitalisations;
  • post-discharge rehabilitation and restoration;
  • clarification of roles and responsibilities;
  • improvements in data collection; and
  • information sharing.

Witnesses will also include:

  • Australian Medical Association President Dr Tony Bartone (who appeared at the first round of hearings in Adelaide);
  • Professor Brendan Murphy, the Chief Medical Officer for the Government (who previously gave evidence at the Sydney hearings);
  • the Department of Health’s Deputy Secretary for Health Financing, Penny Shakespeare; and
  • the Secretary herself, Glenys Beauchamp, returning to another round with the Senior Counsel.

About Author

The Weekly SOURCE is the leading media for retirement living and aged care businesses, delivering sector-specific news through four mastheads. Operating as part of The DCM Group, The Weekly SOURCE also provides a directory of proven sector specialists and an insights exchange.