Tuesday, 4 September 2012
This page provides transcripts of all the hearings held for the Dementia Inquiry to date. House of Representatives Committees – Parliament of Australia The Canberra hearing gives an interesting account of how referrals to the Victorian CDAMS services have changed over the past 10 years, with the average MMSE score rising from 20 to 24.5 in at time, and 60% of referrals to one clinic needing neuropsychological assessment. It seems that having a free service is resulting in people being diagnosed earlier, and the average cost per patient for assessment is $1600. There is also a fantastic consumer testimony in favor of neuropsychology from the July 27th hearing in Launceston, an interesting view on NPH from a geriatrician on the same day, and my own evidence, in which I tried not to get too sidetracked by the committee's obvious interest in our field. I would appreciate advice on what an ideal dementia service would look like from our perspective, as I wasn't expecting the questions they asked about that. If I could do that part again, I would say that direct referral to a diagnostic service would be good, as GPs won't always take family concerns seriously. I have lots of admiration for GPs, but it's hard for them to spot every problem in brief consultations. So what would you suggest? Would we improve on the CDAMS model and put some long-term followup in place? What else could we recommend?