The quality of life of older people is significantly affected by the way in which long-term care (LTC) is provided. This presents a challenge to governments to find ways to finance and regulate LTC to provide accessible and high-quality services. This review of international approaches to the provision of LTC has been conducted by Flinders University for the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. The aim of this review is to provide learnings for the aged care system in Australia and to situate the Australian aged care system within the appropriate global context.

Countries representing major regions worldwide that were reviewed were: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, UK (England), United States of America (USA) and Vietnam. Literature reviews were undertaken to identify information on aged care typologies, financing, organisation, standards, workforce, quality and regulation. Key attributes were compared using data from international databases and reports from organisations such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), World Bank and World Health Organization (WHO); most figures reflect 2016 data. Differences in the definitions and methodologies used in the primary data sources may affect comparability across countries and the primary sources for these data have not been verified; thus these limitations should be considered when interpreting the empirical results.

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Research paper 2