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Aged care: Residential aged care

The importance of high-quality healthcare for residents in aged care is growing as the number of older Australians increases. Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) predict the number of Australians aged 65 or older will increase rapidly in the coming decades, in terms of both numbers and proportions of the total population. According to the ABS, the age group is projected to increase from 3.2 million in 2012 to up to 5.8 million in 2031, and up to 11.1 million in 2061.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), an estimated 200,000 Australians live in residential aged care facilities (RACFs),2 where the main source of care provided to residents is staff members, such as nurses. Many believe, however, that GPs can play a larger role in visiting and treating these residents.