Delivery of 75 new Transition Care Program places
Quality community-based care for elderly patients
Equivalent of two extra wards available in hospitals ahead of busy winter season
Complements widespread new emergency department efficiency plans
The Liberal National Government strategy to significantly increase metropolitan hospital bed availability and efficiency ahead of the busy winter season is on track, following a new State-Commonwealth agreement on extra aged care Transition Care Program places.
Announcing the funding arrangements with Federal Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt, Health Minister John Day said it would help free up 75 metropolitan hospital beds.
"The provision of an extra 75 Transition Care Program places in quality, community aged care centres means many elderly patients who don't need high-level care can be moved out of our hospitals before winter," Mr Day said.
"This is a win-win for the community, ensuring we have more beds available while delivering extra value for Western Australian taxpayers. It is fundamental to our strategy to streamline care and increase health system throughput, in preparation for the busiest time of year."
The Minister said the Transition Care Program initiative would dovetail with the implementation of comprehensive new efficiency plans by local health service providers across major hospitals.
"These are well underway and, thanks to the strategic approach of our dedicated staff, are already showing promising results in emergency departments, including reduced ambulance ramping," he said.
"I congratulate emergency department staff on their commitment and back-to-basics approach, which is streamlining processes."
Allocation of the new aged care places is scheduled to start in April, following assessment of a rigorous tender process for suitably accredited service providers.
"WA has the lowest number of operational residential aged care beds per person aged 70 years and over in Australia, and these new places will have a significant impact on addressing shortages across the sector," Mr Day said.
"I am pleased the Australian Government has recognised our concerns and is helping us to ensure that older people have access to appropriate care and support."
60 of the additional Transition Care Program beds will be jointly funded by the Commonwealth (62.5%) and State (37.5%) governments, with the State fully funding the remaining 15
WA has the lowest number of operational residential aged care places nationally with 69.9 places per 1,000 people aged 70 and over (national average 79.7)
Funding for the new transition care places is for the period of March 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018
Minister's office - 6552 6200