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Canberra Hearing

Interfaces between the aged care and the health care systems

The Canberra hearing inquired into interfaces between the aged care system and the health care system, including both Commonwealth and state/territory programs. It examined whether older people, particularly those living in residential aged care facilities, are able to access the health services they need as they age.

Date: 9 – 13 December 2019
Location: The Vibe Hotel, Canberra, 1 Rogan St, Canberra ACT 2609
Time: 10:00am local time

The hearing commenced at 10am (AEST) on Monday, 9 December 2020. It can be viewed through the Royal Commission's YouTube channel.

The Royal Commission inquired into the interface between aged care system and health care system, including:

  • the challenges faced by people living in residential aged care services attempting to access health services funded under Medicare or by the states and territories
  • whether there is a need to improve access to primary health care services (particularly general practitioners, nurse practitioners and primary care nurses) for older people in residential aged care, and if so, how this could be achieved
  • whether there is a need to improve access to high quality secondary and tertiary (sub-acute and acute) health care services for older people in residential aged care, and if so, how this could be achieved
  • the challenges faced by people living in aged care in accessing medical specialists, and the harms arising from inadequate access
  • whether it is necessary or desirable to improve how older people are transferred to and from aged care and hospitals, including the appropriateness of rehabilitation and transition care services post hospital attendance
  • whether there is a need for improved data collection, communication and planning in relation to the health needs of older people accessing aged care services, including the interoperability of care management systems
  • the sufficiency of access to state and territory funded palliative care services for people living in residential aged care

The Royal Commission has approached the organisations and individuals from whom it seeks evidence for this public hearing.

Further information

  • The Canberra Hearing closed on Friday 13 December 2019.
  • Applications for leave to appear at the public hearing closed 5pm (ACST) on Monday 25 November 2019.
  • Copies of documents relating to this hearing are available below.

Content Warning: Please be aware that images and descriptions contained within exhibits tendered at hearings of the Royal Commission and public submissions published on this website could be confronting to some.




To see a full list of all exhibits tendered to the Royal Commission please visit the Document Library.


The Royal Commission will publish its reports and other papers as they become available.  A range of research papers, background papers and related publications are also available.