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Supplementary nursing home benefit



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, ·' SUPPLEMENTARY NURSING HOME BENEFIT

. D r . F o r b e s s a i d t h e new a l l o w a n c e f o r p a t i e n t s i n

n u r s i n g homes r e q u i r i n g and r e c e i v i n g more i n t e n s i v e n u r s i n g

home c a r e t h a n t h e l i g h t e r c a r e g i v e n t o t h e m a j o r i t y o f

p a t i e n t s i n many n u r s i n g · homes, was a new a p p r o a c h by t h e

Gov ernm ent t o t h e s p e c i a l r e q u i r e m e n t s o f p e o p l e who f e l l i n t o

a c a t e g o r y o f n e e d which h ad n o t p r e v i o u s l y b e e n s p e c i f i c a l l y

p r o v i d e d f o r .

I n e f f e c t , t h e new a l l o w a n c e was a s u p p l e m e n t a r y

b e n e f i t o f S3 a d ay i n a d d i t i o n t o t h e $2 a d ay o r d i n a r y

n u r s i n g home b e n e f i t and was i n r e c o g n i t i o n o f t h e e x t r a c o s t s

i n v o l v e d i n p r o v i d i n g i n t e n s i v e n u r s i n g home c a r e .

As w i t h t h e p r e s e n t n u r s i n g home b e n e f i t , t h e r e would

be no r e q u i r e m e n t f o r p a t i e n t s t o i n s u r e i n o r d e r t o r e c e i v e

t h e new s u p p l e m e n t a r y b e n e f i t . T h i s meant t h a t t h e r e was a new

c a t e g o r y o f n u r s i n g home b e n e f i t f o r p a t i e n t s who were n o t

h o s p i t a l c a s e s and y e t who n e e d e d more c o n c e n t r a t e d n u r s i n g

c a r e t h a n t h a t p r o v i d e d f o r o t h e r p a t i e n t s i n n u r s i n g h o m e s.

D r. F o r b e s s a i d t h i s new b e n e f i t would be o f

p a r t i c u l a r s o c i a l v a l u e i n t h e community.

T h a t t h e r e was a g r o w i n g n e e d f o r n u r s i n g home _ _

acc o m m o d atio n and c a r e i n r e c e n t y e a r s was a p p a r e n t i n t h e

g r o w t h o f n u r s i n g home b e d s . At J u n e 30, 1963, t h e r e were

2 5 , 5 3 5 a p p r o v e d n u r s i n g home b e d s i n A u s t r a l i a compared w i t h

69,1 01 h o s p i t a l b e d s . The p r e s e n t 82 a d a y n u r s i n g home

b e n e f i t was i n t r o d u c e d by t h e Commonwealth i n 1963, a n d , by

1964, t h e number o f a p p r o v e d n u r s i n g home b e d s h ad grown t o

2 8 , 6 8 5 compared w i t h 7 0 , 2 1 6 h o s p i t a l b e d s . T h is p a t t e r n o f .

g r o w t h c o n t i n u e d a n d , a t J u n e 30 t h i s y e a r , t h e r e were

3 7 , 8 8 3 a p p r o v e d n u r s i n g home b e d s com pared w i t h 7 4 , 1 1 2

a p p r o v e d h o s p i t a l b e d s .

. . „ / 2

2

Ab out h a l f o f t h e p r e s e n t n u r s i n g home b e d s v e r e

i n p r i v a t e l y r u n n u r s i n g homes and t h e o t h e r h a l f v e r e i n

i n s t i t u t i o n s r u n by S t a t e , r e l i g i o u s o r c h a r i t a b l e o r g a n i s a t i o n s .

D r . F o r b e s s a i d t h e n e v , s u p p l e m e n t a r y b e n e f i t o f

$3 a d a y c o u l d be e x p e c t e d t o p r o m o t e a f u r t h e r i n c r e a s e i n b o t h

t h e c a p a c i t i e s and s t a n d a r d s o f n u r s i n g homes i n A u s t r a l i a #

I n t i m e , t h e c r e a t i o n o f t h e n e v n u r s i n g home c a t e g o r y

c o u l d be e x p e c t e d t o e a s e t h e demands on h o s p i t a l s t o p r o v i d e

t r e a t m e n t and a cc o m m o d a tio n f o r p a t i e n t s vho c o u l d be g i v e n an

a p p r o p r i a t e l e v e l o f n u r s i n g c a r e i n a d e q u a t e l y e q u i p p e d and

s t a f f e d n u r s i n g h o m e s » T h i s a p p l i e d p a r t i c u l a r l y t o some t y p e s

o f l o n g - t e r m and g e r i a t r i c p a t i e n t s »

The i n t r o d u c t i o n o f t h e s u p p l e m e n t a r y n u r s i n g home

b e n e f i t v o u l d r e q u i r e t h a t p a t i e n t s i n n u r s i n g homes v o u l d

h a v e t o be c l a s s i f i e d a s n e e d i n g e i t h e r " i n t e n s i v e " o r " l i g h t "

n u r s i n g home c a r e » Th ose n e e d i n g " i n t e n s i v e " n u r s i n g home c a r e

v o u l d r e c e i v e $5 a d a y and t h e o t h e r n u r s i n g home p a t i e n t s ^

v o u l d r e c e i v e t h e o r d i n a r y $2 a da y b e n e f i t # .

I n e f f e c t , " i n t e n s i v e " n u r s i n g home c a r e p a t i e n t s

v o u l d be t h o s e p a t i e n t s vho h a d d i s a b i l i t i e s o r i n f i r m i t i e s .

v h i c h n o r m a l l y k e p t them c o n f i n e d t o b e d , vho v e r e d e p e n d e n t

on o t h e r s f o r v i r t u a l l y a l l t h e i r p e r s o n a l n e e d s and vho

r e q u i r e d c o n s t a n t n u r s i n g c a r e u n d e r t h e c o n t r o l o f t r a i n e d

n u r s i n g s t a f f # The r e m a i n i n g p a t i e n t s v o u l d be t h o s e vho

r e q u i r e d , i n a d d i t i o n t o room and b o a r d , some a s s i s t a n c e i n

g e t t i n g i n and o u t o f b e d a nd i'n b a t h i n g , d r e s s i n g and f e e d i n g #

Such p e o p l e v o u l d n e e d p e r i o d i c n u r s i n g c a r e v h i c h v a s c a r r i e d

o u t u n d e r t h e s u p e r v i s i o n o f t r a i n e d n u r s e s b u t n o t on a

c o n s t a n t , i n t e n s i v e b a s i s „ T h i s c a t e g o r y o f c a r e c o u l d a l s o

i n v o l v e s p e c i a l d i e t s and t h e s u p e r v i s i o n o f m e d i c a t i o n ,

v h i c h c o u l d be s e l f - a d m i n i s t e r e d » .

·! . - » / 3

3 .

. ' I

P a t i e n t s e l i g i b l e t o r e c e i v e n u r s i n g home b e n e f i t s ;

would be th o s e i n homes r e g i s t e r e d un d e r S t a t e laws and I

approved f o r t h e payment of b e n e f i t s by t h e Commonwealth

D epartm ent o f H e a l t h . These a p p ro v a ls were dependent upon ;

m ee tin g p a r t i c u l a r s t a n d a r d s as t o accommodation, equipment

and s t a f f i n g . ;

The new, s u p p le m e n ta ry n u r s i n g home b e n e f i t , as . :

was t h e c a se w ith t h e b a s i c $2 a day b e n e f i t , would be p a i d , !

on b e h a l f of p a t i e n t s , d i r e c t l y t o n u r s i n g home managements |

to be o f f s e t a g a i n s t th e p a t i e n t s ’ f e e s . j

I n a f u l l f i n a n c i a l y e a r t h e s u p p le m e n ta ry n u r s i n g , !

. " ‘ ■

home b e n e f i t was e x p e c te d to c o s t a b out $15 m i l l i o n . ~ j

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