A national medical body is calling on older Australians to be the focus of the federal budget next year.
The Australian General Practice Network (AGPN) has highlighted five key areas of aged care that need to be addressed and has suggested a total of $141.2 million be spent over three or four years.
According to the AGPN, issues such as delivering better health care to residents in aged care facilities, investing more in complex conditions and chronic care, encouraging greater physical activity, improving palliative care and focusing on the diagnosis and management of dementia must be addressed.
Chair of the national network Dr Emil Djakic believes a focus on healthy ageing and better coordinated care for older Australians must be included as part of the meaningful reform in the aged care sector, as well as better coordination for their carers.
"It's time to move on from the fragmented, disconnected system that confronts ageing Australians and instead move towards a coordinated, locally driven and sustainable system that is more about preventing disease, immobility and complications and less about visits to the local hospital," Dr Djakic said.
As Australians become older and medical expenses increase, some may find private health insurance cover beneficial – not only can it offer reduced hospital waiting times and a choice of doctor, but also preventative measures such as visits to the dentist.