Improving end-of-life options
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien, says a Liberal-Nationals Government will provide an additional $140 million to deliver world class community palliative care in Victoria if elected in 2018, making it the largest investment of its kind in Australia.
In 2015-16, funding for community palliative care provided support for 16,777 Victorians. The increase in funding announced by the Liberal-Nationals this week will help provide palliative care support for up to another 8,000 Victorians.
Mr O’Brien said it was evident to him that end-of-life care is a priority to the people of Gippsland South.
“With an ageing population, demand for palliative care is on the rise.
“I am regularly contacted by people seeking more support and options for loved ones during their most vulnerable time.
“This commitment is about hopefully making a very distressing time a little less so.”
Research indicates that around 70 per cent of Victorians want to live their final days at home, but barely a third of Victorians get to realise this final wish due to inadequate funding for community-based palliative care services.
Mr O’Brien said only a Liberal-Nationals Government will make the necessary investment to deliver timely and comprehensive community palliative care for those who want it.
“This commitment is about making a real difference, particularly in rural and regional Victoria.”
Along with a significant increase of services, this commitment will see the establishment of an End-of-Life Ministerial Council, significant education and workforce development to recruit and train skilled palliative care workers, and a community awareness and engagement campaign to assist Victorians to understand the availability and benefits of palliative care.
The End-of-Life Ministerial Council will be made up of 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.