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An Investigation of Service Mix within the Home and Community Care Programme

Authors


Nerina Vecchio, Griffith Business School, Griffith University Gold Coast Campus, PMB 50 Gold Coast Mail Center, Gold Coast, QLD 9726, Australia. Email: n.vecchio@griffith.edu.au

Abstract

Given Australia’s ageing population, the demand for Home and Community Care services is expected to escalate to unprecedented levels. A skilled and flexible aged care workforce, together with other broader aged care workforce planning needs, has become a priority at both the national and state levels. This study examined the Australian government’s Home and Community Care programme to identify regional differences in service hours received by clients and associations between services. Analysis was based on the Minimum Data Set of 2007/08 and confined to Queensland clients aged 18 and over. Investigations revealed that clients residing in regional and remote areas were more likely to receive nursing services but less likely to receive allied health services compared to those residing in a major city. This reflected the specific health professional to population ratio of the area. For clients residing outside the city, an inverse relationship existed between allied health and nursing hours. Possibly certain categories of staff supplemented the shortfall in other skilled labour present in regional and remote areas. The findings are part of the initial steps in examining the potential opportunities available to government in implementing skill mix reforms within the health sector.

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