Department of Health and Ageing

Department of Health and Ageing
Agency overview
Formed 1921
Jurisdiction Commonwealth of Australia
Headquarters Canberra
Ministers responsible Nicola Roxon, Minister for Health and Ageing
Warren Snowdon, Minister for Indigenous Health
Mark Butler, Minister for Mental Health and Ageing
Agency executive Jane Halton, Secretary of the Department
Parent agency Australian Government
Website
Department of Health and Ageing Website

The Department of Health and Ageing is an Australian Government department. Its role is to oversee the running of Australia including supporting universal and affordable access to medical, pharmaceutical and hospital services, while helping people to stay healthy through health promotion and disease prevention activities. The department's plan for the future include:

  • Developing a coherent national Health and Ageing system.
  • Using knowledge and information to deliver better services.
  • Using integrated funding to deliver more effective services.
  • Driving the system with the experience of the customer.

Contents

Ministers

Parliamentary Officeholders

  • The current Minister for Health and Ageing is Nicola Roxon
  • The current Minister for Indigenous Health is Warren Snowdon
  • The current Minister for Mental Health and Ageing is Mark Butler
  • The current Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing is Catherine King

History

Background

The Department of Health was established in 1921 and has since undergone numerous changes to its name, structure and function.

The first change happened in 1987 when the Department of Health was merged with the Department of Community Services in order to form the Department of Community Services and Health.

In June 1991, The Department of Health, Housing and Community Services was formed. This reflected the transfer of housing industry programs from the Department of Industry, Technology and Commerce to the Department of Community Services and Health.

In March 1993 the Department of Local Government joined with the Department of Health, Housing and Community Services to form the Department of Health, Housing, Local Government and Community Services. Subsequently in 1994 the Department changed its name to the Department of Human Services and Health. Also in 1994, the Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health was established.

When a new government was elected in March 1996, the Department's name changed to the Department of Health and Family Services. The department gained responsibility for the Supported Accommodation Assistance Program from the former Department of Housing and Regional Development.

Later the department assumed responsibility for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health matters from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission.

After the October 1998 election, the Department's name changed to the Department of Health and Aged Care to reflect its new responsibilities and functions. Responsibility for Family and Children's Services, Disability Programs and the Commonwealth Rehabilitation Service were transferred to the Department of Family and Community Services on 22 October 1998.

Following the November 2001 election, the Department of Health and Aged Care changed its name to the Department of Health and Ageing.

Programs administered

Department of Health and Ageing administers various health-related programs in partnership with Medicare Australia. As of 2005, these programs included:

  • Medical Rural Bonded Scheme
  • Office of Chemical Safety
  • National Drugs and Poisons Schedule Committee
  • Acute Care Division (ACD)
  • Ageing and Aged Care Division (AACD)
  • Audit and Fraud Control
  • Business Group
  • Health Workforce Division
  • Medical Benefits Division (MBD)
  • Mental Health and Chronic Disease Division
  • Pharmaceutical Benefits Division (PBD)
  • Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
  • Office of Health Protection (OHP)
  • Primary and Ambulatory Care Division (PACD)
  • Population Health Division (PHD)
  • Portfolio Strategies Division (PSD)
  • Regulatory Policy & Governance Division (RPGD)
  • State and Territory Offices
  • Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)

Aged care in Australia

Aged care in Australia can be broken into a hierarchy of care.

Facility based aged care

  • Residential Aged Care (RAC). Three levels of care: low care - previously hostels, high care - previously nursing homes, and high care with dementia. Two levels of costing: mainstream and extra services. Mainstream costs are legislated whilst extra services are the private version of nursing homes. No localised register of beds in Australia, however many smaller organisations collate bed vacancies.
  • Respite in RAC (Residential Respite). At the above three levels of care. 63 days a year are subsidized by the government. Access through Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT).

Community based aged care'

  • Community aged care packages. Three levels of packages: low care - Community Aged Care Package (CACP), high care - Extended Aged Care at Home (EACH) and high care dementia - Extended Aged Care at Home Dementia (EACHD)
  • In home respite. Provided by Commonwealth Respite Centre's which provide an in home care worker to provide relief from their caring role. Access through Carelink on 1800 052 222.
  • Home and Community Care (HACC) Services. These are 11 services available all over Australia. Each Local Planning Area (LPA) will have individual contracts administered by the state government's disability/ageing department (i.e. in NSW Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care). Find local services through Carelink.

Information services

  • Commonwealth Carelink 1800 052 222. Provides information about aged care and disabilities.
  • Aged Care Info Line 1800 500 853. Provides information about aged care reforms and information about entering RAC.

Assessments required to access services

  • ACAT:
    • Residential aged care
    • Residential respite
    • Community aged care packages
  • Local assessment:
    • In home respite
    • HACC services

Assessment

There are two types of assessment: global or local.

Global assessment is done by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) which is embedeed within the local hospital and administered by the state health department. Contact your local hospital or Carelink for your local ACAT.

Local assessment is done at the service that is being accessed. For some services the format of assessment is legislated, for example the Client Information and Referral Record (CIARR).

See also

External links


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