Coordinating health, extended care and community support services: reforming aged care in Australia

Michael D. Fine*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Under pressure to maximize the cost-effectiveness of programs, efforts to improve coordination have become increasingly central to the development of the broader health and welfare service delivery system in Australia in the past few years. This article reviews recent experience in two related fields: (1) the coordination of different community care services for older people and people with disabilities, funded by the Home and Community Care program; and (2) the attempt to enhance links between community and residential care services, hospitals, and other health care providers. Why coordination has emerged as such an important issue in the field of community care and, increasingly, across the entire system of what the Australian government now terms health and family services is discussed. A number of measures that have been introduced or are proposed to improve a coordination of services are briefly reviewed. These range from individualistic approaches based on information and referral, through schemes involving gatekeeping, case management and brokerage of services, to models involving the reconfiguration of organizational structures, linkages, and finances. These measures are not mutually exclusive and are increasingly likely to be applied in more complex mixed models of service coordination. It is argued that coordination at the level of direct-service provision is difficult if government policies that direct services lack coordination.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-90
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Aging and Social Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • aged care
  • community care
  • health care coordination
  • case management


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