2017 AMA Aged Care Survey

The 2017 AMA Aged Care Survey (the survey) sought feedback on AMA members’ impressions and experiences with providing medical care in the context of the aged care system. The survey focussed mainly on medical care in residential aged care facilities (RACFs). The survey reports on a range of topics, including medical practitioner influences to visit (or not visit) RACFs, how often they visit RACFs, and the amount of face to face and non-contact time they spend on each RACF patient. Respondents were also asked what resources and RACF staff mix is required to carry out a quality service. Respondents were also asked about their experiences with witnessing elder abuse.

The results of the survey reinforce the AMA’s Resourcing aged care position statement. The statement calls for a regulated minimum number of registered nurses in RACFs, in line with the care needs of current residents, that are available 24-hours a day. Access to suitably trained and experienced nurses (and other health professionals) was the most ‘urgent’ and ‘extremely urgent’ method prioritised by respondents to improve medical care in RACFs. The survey also supports the call to increase funding for medical practitioners to visit RACFs. As well as being rated the second highest ‘urgent’ and ‘extremely urgent’ method to improve medical care in RACFs, the opportunity cost of visiting RACFs was reported to be a major influencer to decrease, or never, visit RACFs by survey respondents.