Nursing Homes to Prioritize According to Need Skip to content

Nursing Homes to Prioritize According to Need

Assistant Medical Director of Health Matthías Halldórsson hopes that a new law on the rights of senior citizens, which took effect on January 1, will ensure that nursing homes can no longer avoid admitting individuals who require the most service.

“Before Christmas a 95-year-old man was released from hospital because nothing more could be done for him there. The man can hardly live alone at home, but still there was no slot for him at a nursing home,” Halldórsson told Fréttabladid.

“In this country we have more room at institutions for senior citizens than in our neighboring countries. But we have to ensure that those who need admission to such institutions the most will be given a slot and to prevent that nursing homes prefer individuals who are convenient,” Halldórsson added.

The new law includes that the number of committees choosing individuals for admission at nursing homes will be reduced from 40 to six or seven and that the responsibility of their evaluation will be moved from the Ministry of Health to the Directorate of Health.

Additionally, a special committee will be responsible for prioritizing individuals on waiting lists according to their need.

According to Medical Director of Health Sigurdur Gudmundsson, the goal with this new arrangement is to contribute to increased consistency and professional work methods.

Gudmundsson emphasized that the purpose of the law amendment is not to judge those who have made decision regarding admissions to nursing homes in the past, rather to improve selection processes.

The Medical Director added that the nursing home Grund in Reykjavík has always been very professional in this regard.

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