Geriatric medicine and health care for older people in Australia

David G. Le Couteur, Leon Flicker, Sarah N. Hilmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aged care coverage in Australia is universal but fragmented and has been challenged by government policy to deregulate aged care and open it up to market forces. A recent inquiry into aged care (Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety) documented the outcome of this policy-substandard care at most levels. The provision of services to older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, who have high prevalence of frailty and cognitive impairment, was also identified as inadequate. The effects of yet to be implemented changes in policy and funding in response to this report remain to be seen. Despite this policy backdrop, geriatricians have contributed to a steady growth in medical services and interventions focussed on specific geriatric issues such as dementia, falls, polypharmacy and orthogeriatrics. These are often driven by, or in collaboration with researchers, and aim to generate research data as well as provide patient care. The numbers of academic geriatricians and other aged care health professionals is increasing, and the training of specialist geriatricians now includes a significant research component.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAge and Ageing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022


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