Demographic and utilisation changes for rural and remote populations — subacute admitted care

Demographic and utilisation changes for rural and remote populations — subacute admitted care Conference Paper

11th National Rural Health Conference: Rural and remote Australia: the heart of a healthy nation

  • Author(s): Jim Pearse, Deniza Mazevska, Jennifer Sheehan
  • Published: 2011

Abstract: The provision of subacute care presents specific challenges to rural and remote health services given the ageing of the population, and the barriers in the provision of these services historically. In recent years, subacute care has become a focus of national health reforms. In late 2008, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to a partnership to improve efficiency and capacity in public hospitals. Through the partnership, $500 million was provided to the states and territories over five years, in return for a commitment to increase subacute activity by an average of 5% per year. Subsequently, through the negotiations leading to the National Health and Hospitals Network Agreement, the Australian Government agreed to provide $1.62 billion to fund the capital and recurrent costs of an estimated 1,316 new subacute care beds by 2013-14, although in this instance subacute was interpreted as including rehabilitation, step down, mental health and palliative care beds. In late 2009, the New South Wales (NSW) Department of Health commissioned a project to develop projections of admitted patient subacute services. The project was built on previous work undertaken in 2006. The project combined an analytical approach, with qualitative input from clinicians, to identify issues to be examined in the first instance, and then to validate the projections results. The project resulted in admitted patient projections expressed in five-year intervals from 2016-17 through to 2031-32, and a software tool to facilitate access to the projection results and the development of scenarios. In this paper we show the projection results for subacute care for rural populations in NSW and present some of the methodological issues relating to these. Overall, there is projected to be an 85% increase in demand for subacute bed capacity by regional and rural populations in NSW between 2008-09 and 2026-27. We conclude that the ageing of the population will have a significant impact on these regions.

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Jim Pearse, Deniza Mazevska, Jennifer Sheehan, 2011, Demographic and utilisation changes for rural and remote populations — subacute admitted care, Conference Paper, viewed 12 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=3084.

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