More funding for palliative care
The NSW Minister for Health, Minister Skinner, has acknowledged that access to palliative care services is not equitable across NSW and that people in regional and rural areas are particularly affected. The demand for palliative care services continues to increase, however NSW does not have enough specialist palliative care physicians, registrars, nurses or allied health staff to manage the increasing need.
The NSW Government plan to increase access to palliative care 2012-2016 includes an extra $35 million over a period of four years, however it is not enough. It is highly unlikely that this amount will allow for completion of the 47 actions detailed in the state plan, including addressing gaps in community-based specialist palliative care.
CCNSW supports retired palliative care specialist, now palliative care campaigner, Dr Yvonne McMaster in her campaign to advocate for more funding for palliative care. In a business case, recently given to the state Treasurer, Dr McMaster estimated that an adequately funded palliative care service may save the NSW government approximately $140 million annually by reducing the number of hospital admissions and decreasing the use of expensive treatments, which are sometimes unnecessary. The cost to achieve these savings would appear to be no more than half of the amount which would be saved.
After presenting the NSW government with nearly 60,000 signatures in November last year Dr McMaster is continuing to seek signatures so that when another 10,000 are collected she can take them to Barry O’Farrell as more evidence of the community’s continuing concern.
We need to ensure politicians understand that last year’s promise of $35 million over 4 years is only a start to filling the gap in palliative care in NSW. Tell your local MP that more funding for palliative care is necessary in order to 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
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