Neale Burgess MP has announced that a Liberal Nationals Government will provide an additional $140 million to deliver world class community palliative care in Victoria.
This will be the largest investment of its kind in Australia.
An expanded community palliative care service will be particularly important for rural and regional families, identified by the Auditor General and the Inquiry into End of Life Choices as suffering from the biggest gap in community palliative care services.
Terminally ill patients in regional Victoria do not want to be separated from family and friends in the final weeks of life, to die kilometres away in hospital when home based palliative care isn’t available.
Being home and surrounded by loved ones can make a huge difference to patients and families and this investment will make sure more people in the Hastings Electorate have that choice if they want it.
In 2015/16, funding for community palliative care provided support for 16,777 Victorians. This increase in funding announced by the Liberal Nationals today will help provide palliative care support for up to another 8,000 Victorians.
Research indicates that around 70% of Victorians want to live their final days at home surrounded by family, friends and memories. Research also shows that barely a third of Victorians get to realise this final wish due to inadequate funding for community based palliative care services.
With an ageing population and increasing rates of complex chronic illness, demand for palliative care will continue to grow. Only a Liberal Nationals Government will make the necessary investment to deliver timely and comprehensive community palliative care for patients in the Hastings Electorate who want it.
This commitment will see:
- A doubling of specialist palliative care medical and nursing services to community palliative care clients, especially in rural and regional Victoria.
- A 50% funding increase in community palliative care provided in the home and including overnight care, in home respite and carer support and enhanced linkages to after-hours support such as GPs and pharmacists.
- Significant education and workforce development to recruit and train skilled palliative care workers to deliver expanded services, enhance health professionals capacity to have end-of-life conversations and support volunteers.
- A community awareness and engagement campaign to assist Victorians to understand the availability and benefits of palliative care including underrepresented groups such as rural and regional Victorians, children, non-cancer related illnesses, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and Indigenous Victorians.
- Establishment of an End-of-Life Ministerial Council, with representation from palliative care and broader health sectors as well as patients and carers, to ensure palliative care is integrated with broader health services and flexibly and effectively meeting the needs of terminally ill Victorians and their families.
A Liberal Nationals Government will ensure Victorians who are dying have a genuine choice to spend their final days at home and will also support their families and carers throughout this time.
( Based on 2016/17 funding for Community Palliative Care Services and Consultancy Services)
Comments attributable to Member Hastings, Neale Burgess MP
“This record investment will make a significant difference for families in Hastings who wish to remain together in the final days and weeks of a loved one’s life.
“We know that families in Hastings want real choice when it comes to their end of life wishes. This investment will deliver the staff and services to support terminally ill patients to realise their wishes to die well.
“This assistance will hopefully make a very distressing time less distressing for patients and their families and other loved ones.
 Based on 2016/17 funding for Community Palliative Care Services and Consultancy Services