The peak body for non-profit aged care providers Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) is calling for clear coronavirus outbreak protocols for aged care that allow for hospitalisation of residents.
“If COVID-19 gets into aged care facilities we know the outcome can be disastrous. People who test positive should be transferred to hospital to prevent major outbreaks and give people the best possible chance of survival,” ACSA CEO, Patricia Sparrow said.
“We must not discriminate against older people or ration access to hospital care.
“Aged care facilities are not set up to deliver the level of health care needed for COVID-19 treatment. We are simply not funded to be intensive care hospitals and need time and support to become ready for a hospital in the home approach.
Ms Sparrow said it was very important that protocols were developed to guide the interaction between aged care and the health care system.
“The aged care environment is simply not set up to provide hospital-level containment and treatment,” she said.
“Expecting aged care facilities to handle outbreaks without hospital transfers is simply put – age discrimination. Anyone else in the community is rightly automatically given the best possible care in an environment that prevents further transmission.
“ACSA is calling on all governments to develop protocols and follow the lead of South Australia who will transfer aged care residents to hospital to give the best possible chance of containment and survival,” Ms Sparrow said.
An ACSA paper released late last week ‘A Framework for the Aged Care and Healthcare Interface during COVID-19’ outlines its suggested aged care outbreak protocols.
“ACSA has taken a strong stand against age discrimination,” said Ms Sparrow.
“The paper reflects the views of not-for-profit aged care providers who have been working tirelessly to keep older residents safe and COVID19 out of their facilities.”