Alzheimer’s Australia is grateful the Federal Government has honoured its election commitment to an additional $200 million over five years to Australian scientists and medical researchers working on ways to prevent or cure dementia.
Alzheimer’s Australia strongly supports the four objectives underpinning the commitment including the need to dramatically expand capacity, prioritise additional funding for projects in the health and aged care sector, the translation of research into better care for people with dementia and investing in dementia research infrastructure.
Alzheimer’s Australia CEO, Glenn Rees AM, said: “We are deeply appreciative of the ongoing commitment of the Government to dementia research and we look forward to working with the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) in rolling out the funding.
“We also welcome the increased commitment to research through the medical research future fund.
“It is also a great relief in what was a tough budget year that the 2012 Aged Care Reform Package has been left largely intact, apart from concerns about a reduced priority for the home support program from 2018.
“The Government’s commitment to the investment of $39.2 million over five years to improve hospital care for people with dementia, as well as $41.3 million to support General Practitioners in making a more timely diagnosis of dementia and expand the scope of the Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service (DBMAS) into hospitals and primary care, in a priority focus for Alzheimer’s Australia.
“These measures respond to the concerns Alzheimer’s Australia has documented about the delays in the diagnosis of people with dementia and the evidence of poor care for people with dementia in hospitals including over half of people with dementia not being identified as having cognitive impairment, longer lengths of stay and worse clinical outcomes compared to other patients.
“Alzheimer’s Australia does however have concerns that the development of quality indicators is now well behind the timeline set in the 2012 Aged Care Reforms, as is work on surveying resident experience of care. In the meantime there is little or no transparency in the care outcomes being achieved.
“Some of the stories that we have heard about the quality of care in residential care have been harrowing, to say the least. It is a key priority of Alzheimer’s Australia to ensure that quality of dementia care, in both aged care and the acute sector, is on the government’s agenda.”