Funding for aged care COVID-19 management

Senior Australians in aged care and at home are the focus of a Federal Government plan aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19.

 

Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, Richard Colbeck, today outlined the measures in place to protect residents, staff and their families at facilities across the country.

 

The funding of $101.2 million is focussed on:

  • Upskilling aged care workers in coronavirus infection control
  • Increasing staff numbers, support and training for residential care homes where an urgent health response is required
  • A telehealth consultation service provided by doctors, both GPs and specialists, for anyone over the age of 70
  • Specialist on-site pathology services ensuring residents don’t have to leave facilities and to quickly respond to potential cases
  • Additional funds allowing the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission to work with providers on improving infection control.

 

Mr Colbeck said, “Our objective is to ensure Australia’s aged care sector is ready and able to protect our most vulnerable. It remains our highest priority.

 

“While those aged over 70 are at greater risk from the virus, it’s important to understand Australia has a robust health system."

 

The Government is investing in the national medical stockpile and will support aged care providers with personal protective equipment (PPE) resources for staff where it is needed, as part of the infection control measures.

 

The Primary Health Networks will co-ordinate distribution to ensure effective management of supplies to areas of need.

 

Mr Colbeck said the Government will deliver a $30 million National Communications Campaign – across all media – to provide people with practical advice on how they can play their part in containing the virus and staying healthy.

 

The campaign will keep the health and aged care industry informed with up-to-date clinical guidance, triaging and caring for patients, the development of an app and advice to workers in looking after their own safety.

 

An online forum later this week will offer a platform for providers to have their questions answered.

 

The Communicable Diseases Network of Australian (CDNA) will also soon be releasing guidelines for the prevention, control and management of COVID-19 in residential aged care facilities.

 

Fact sheets are available at the Department of Health’s website and will be updated as new information becomes available.

 

A 24-hour Coronavirus Health Information Line, run by healthdirect, has also been set up for public enquiries at 1800 020 080.

 

11 March 2020.