More funding for palliative care
On Thursday November 24, the public gallery at NSW Parliament House was full of people keen to hear the response of politicians to the almost 60,000 signatures calling for more funding for palliative care. The petition was the largest to be accepted by the NSW legislative assembly in recent years.
Those present were heartened to hear Minister Skinner acknowledge that while 70 per cent of Australians say they want to die at home, only 16 per cent are able to do so, and that while there are good palliative care services in NSW, they are not equitably available across the State. Most importantly, the Minister, in referring to the recently released The NSW Government plan to increase access to palliative care 2012-2016 and new funding, said [this Government] “ …will do much more: This is only the beginning.”
The Parliamentary discussion on the petition is a milestone in the campaign – spearheaded by Dr Yvonne McMaster – not an outcome. Inequities remain, particularly in rural areas, and demand for palliative care services continues to increase.
Strengthening palliative care in NSW will require substantial additional funding to enhance service provision. While the Government’s recent announcement of an extra $35 million over four years is a start, more is needed. Palliative Care NSW estimates an extra $30-40 million annually is required to bridge the gap in funding for palliative care in NSW.
We need to ensure politicians understand the recent announcement of $35 million over 4 years is only a start to filling the gap in palliative care in NSW. We need local MPs to understand that more funding for palliative care is necessary in order to care and support people approaching the end of their lives, and their families.
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Briefing Paper: Palliative Care [PDF]
The NSW Government plan to increase access to palliative care 2012-2016
Hansard: Palliative Care Services in New South Wales – November 22, 2012
Palliative care petition the largest in NSW history