\”The bulk of chronic conditions are better dealt with in the home or in the community than in an acute care bed.\”
Commissioner Peter Garling SC
A NSW Liberals & Nationals Government will increase funding for chronic disease management by $57 million to improve sufferers’ quality of life and drive down unnecessary hospital admissions, NSW Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell and Shadow Minister for Health Jillian Skinner announced today.
\”Chronic diseases like, heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease and obesity are having an overwhelming impact on our hospital system despite the fact better outcomes for patients can be achieved by keeping people out of hospital,\” Mr O’Farrell said.
\”We need to better manage people with chronic illness so they don’t end up in hospital,\” he said.
\”Whether it’s delivering more GP liaison officers to ensure patients see their GP after discharge from hospital, providing medication reminder calls or home visits for patients suffering from heart disease, or delivering better dietary education for diabetics, these programs aim to keep people out of hospital.
\”These services will be provided at people’s homes, or other nearby community settings by both government and non-government providers.
\”While we need to be doing all we can to prevent chronic illness, we also need to become smarter at managing the diseases that burden our hospital system.
\”The additional $57 million will help support an extra 16,000 people who suffer from some form of chronic disease over the next term of government.
\”By arming suffers with better information, education, medication management and access to community support we can manage chronic disease to minimise the impact it has on our hospital system,\” Mr O’Farrell said.
Mrs Skinner said the long-term goal over the next decade would be to extend the chronic disease management program to all patients who are aged over 18.
\”The health system of the future needs to focus on wellness and disease prevention in the community and out-of-hospital care,\” she said.
\”Currently many of the programs aimed at keeping chronic disease sufferers out of hospital are targeted at those patients aged over 65, but extending the program to younger people can potentially provide more relief to the hospital system as a whole.
\”Participating in a program may be as simple as developing a total care plan with your GP through to regular visits by clinicians to monitor your condition or even telephone calls to remind people to take their preventative medication.
\”The delivery of these programs will be thrown open to doctors, nurses and allied health professionals with the clear goal of keeping people out of hospital by better managing chronic disease.
\”We need to re-shape our health system to recognise the increasing burden chronic disease will place on our hospital system if nothing is done.
\”By better managing chronic disease we can free up hospital beds for those sick patients who really need them,\” Mrs Skinner said.
Chronic Disease Health Programs
Key features of customised services that can be provided include:
- Hospital Avoidance Co-ordinators working with General Practice
- Telephoned-based support services (health coach) to improve health;
- Tools for measuring current health, assessing health risks, and preventing future health problems;
- Access to health coaches to guide lifestyle, dietary and physical activity;
- A personalised ‘My Health Home’ web page with current articles and research tailored to individual needs;
- Ability to record health action plans and monitor progress towards health goals;
- On-line health and lifestyle forums covering diet/nutrition, smoking cessation and stress management;
- Ability to record a medical profile including medications, local services, fitness plans, meal plans;
- Customised plans created by general practitioners, accredited nurses, dieticians and personal trainers to improve lifestyle management;
- Access to personalised exercise programs, quit-smoking support, and nutrition and meal planning tools;
- SMS or email reminders for relevant preventative/health screening tests.