NT’s aged care crisis: now residents ‘bed blockers’ at Royal Darwin Hospital

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The dire shortage of aged care facilities in the Northern Territory has been laid bare with 80-100 beds in Royal Darwin Hospital (RDH) occupied by people seeking aged care.

Almost one third of beds at RDH are being occupied by people who require residential aged care.

Australian Medical Association NT president Dr Robert Parker said the impact of the aged care residents in the 340-bed main hospital is putting a huge strain on the health system and the answer was to move the people into their rightful place – aged care homes.

Health Minister Natasha Fyles said the limited aged care capacity in the NT posed a challenge.

“We are working in partnership with the Commonwealth Government on aged care reform in the Northern Territory,” she said.

The latest Aged Care Approvals Round announced recently included 60 additional aged care beds for the Territory.