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.
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 those 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.
Comments attributable to the Leader of the Opposition Matthew Guy
"This assistance will hopefully make a very distressing time less distressing for patients and their families and other loved ones."
"Being home and surrounded by loved ones and precious memories can make a huge difference to patients and families and we want to make sure more people have that choice if they want it."
Comments attributable to the Shadow Minister for Health Mary Wooldridge
"We are expanding community palliative care because we know more staff and services are needed so that terminally ill patients and their families can get the support they need to live and die well."
"Additional funding is especially important for those from rural and regional Victoria, many of whom can’t currently access palliative care and so often don’t have the choice to die at home."