A Liberal-Nationals Government will provide an additional $140 million to deliver world class community palliative care in Victoria.
Liberal Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood today said the announcement was the largest investment of its kind in Australia and that with an ageing population the investment was critical.
‘Research indicates that around 70% of Victorians want to live out their final days at home surrounded by family, friends and memories,’ Mr Blackwood said.
‘Research also shows that barely a third of Victorians are able to realise that 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 these palliative care services will continue to grow.
‘Only a Liberal-Nationals Government will make the necessary investment and deliver timely and comprehensive community palliative care for those who want it.
‘This commitment of $140 million is especially important to those from regional Victoria, many of whom can’t currently access palliative care and so often do not have the choice to spend their final days in their own home.
This commitment will see (1);
- 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.
‘The Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition are committed to better health funding for our community and this commitment, together with our plan to build a new West Gippsland Hospital between Drouin and Warragul will mean Narracan residents will have the health services they deserve,’ Mr Blackwood said.