Department of Infrastructure & Regional Development
The Indian Ocean Territories is an Australia external territory, made up of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, located to the north-west of mainland Australia. As a remote external territory, the IOT faces a unique set of challenges in delivering aged care services.
The Indian Ocean Territories (IOT) consists of:
The total population of the IOT is approximately 2,622 people.
The Commonwealth appointed Australian Healthcare Associates (AHA) to undertake a review of Aged Care in the IOT. The review required AHA to:
The review involved a visit to both Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) Islands by two highly qualified and experienced senior consultants who consulted with the following groups of people:
As the majority of IOT citizens are Australians (70% on CI and 93.8% on C(K)I), aiming to maintain residents at home in Australia (preferably in the IOT) should be prioritised.
Key Finding 1: There is scope to better align the current health service model provided and the availability of community and aged care services with those provided in comparable remote Australian communities.
Key Finding 2: There is a need for community and aged care services that is currently not being met. The lack of data collected and reported by the health service limits the ability to accurately quantify unmet need at this stage.
Key Finding 3: There is an opportunity to better utilise existing resources, staff and facilities to support the aged population in the IOT.
Key Finding 4: Communication between all levels of government, the IOTHS and the Administration could be enhanced to support more effective planning and provision of preventative, public health, community and aged care services.
The key findings illustrate the four main areas that need to be addressed to improve aged care in the IOT. A new model for aged care service provision that is community based and person centred is needed in order to meet the current unmet needs of the older people in the IOT. There are opportunities for existing resources to be utilised in different ways to more effectively deliver services. Communication between all stakeholders is required to ensure effective planning and provision of a full range of services to support the needs of community members as they age.
The final report is available on the Department’s website.
As the majority of IOT residents are Australians citizens, aged care service delivery should prioritise maintaining residents at home in Australia, preferably in the IOT.