ROUNDTABLE: Consumers say access to allied health services in aged care is deteriorating  

Published 15 April 2024

Yesterday the Inspector-General of Aged Care, Ian Yates AM, attended a Roundtable organised by AHPA’s Aged Care Working Group. Mr Yates is reviewing whether the recommendations from the Aged Care Royal Commission have been implemented. Those recommendations included several key reforms to ensure that everyone receiving aged care gets the allied health services they need.

The Roundtable heard from consumers receiving allied health services either in residential facilities or in home care. While consumers spoke highly of their experiences with allied health professionals, it was sobering how often they are not receiving the tailored health care needed to maintain function and quality of life; with some consumers paying for services out-of-pocket.

The Roundtable also heard from occupational therapists, physiotherapists and speech therapists working with aged care consumers, who reinforced the issues raised.

It is clear the Royal Commission allied health recommendations have not yet been implemented. Instead, the state of allied health service provision, particularly in residential care, continues to deteriorate from the very low base as identified by the Royal Commission.

AHPA will continue to advocate for improved access to allied health services for aged care consumers.