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Fed up doctors ditching the aged care sector

More than a third of doctors working in the aged care sector plan to cut back visits in nursing homes.

An Australian Medical Association (AMA) survey of more than 600 members including GP’s, physicians and other specialists, found many have had enough of cuts to qualified staff.

Some doctors plan to stop seeing patients in nursing homes altogether.

The number of those visiting aged care facilities has already declined by more than 13 per cent since 2015.

AMA Council of General Practice Chair Dr Richard Kidd tells Chris Smith there are a “few big factors”.

“It’s an environment that’s actually very difficult to work in now because there just aren’t enough nurses in the aged care facilities.”

He says there’s been an increasing trend in nursing homes admitting patients to hospital, rather than consulting a GP first.

“If someone has any kind of knock to the head, a lot of the nursing homes now have a policy of just sending that person to emergency, not even contacting the GP and saying, ‘Can you review this person?’

“Rather than common sense prevailing, people are being sent to emergency.

“It’s very inappropriate and it’s incredibly expensive.”

Dr Kidd says as a result, many GPs are “finding it hard to provide quality care in that sort of setting”.

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