Demography is destiny: an agenda for geriatric emergency medicine in Australasia

Emerg Med Australas. 2013 Jun;25(3):271-8. doi: 10.1111/1742-6723.12073. Epub 2013 May 20.


The present paper presents an agenda for geriatric emergency medicine research, education and policy development. Herein we will argue: Population ageing is the definitive health policy challenge in Australasia, and the greatest stressor for emergency medicine posed by population ageing is the disproportionate contribution of older people to hospital occupancy. ED practices and models of care may on occasions contribute to rather than reduce high hospital occupancy in older people, benefitting neither individual patients nor the community at large. Geriatric emergency medicine priorities can be conceptualised using a simple framework, and this process will facilitate a research and policy focus on how to achieve equivalent or improved care for older people with less hospital occupancy.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Australasia
  • Biomedical Research* / standards
  • Chronic Disease / therapy
  • Cost of Illness
  • Emergency Medicine* / education
  • Emergency Medicine* / standards
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / standards
  • Geriatrics* / education
  • Geriatrics* / standards
  • Health Policy*
  • Humans