More people with a terminal illness will get the compassionate end of life care they need with a major funding boost from the Andrews Labor Government, following a major review into how palliative care is funded in Victoria.
Minister for Health Jill Hennessy today announced an expert panel had finished its comprehensive review into palliative care funding across the state.
The Labor Government is immediately starting to implement the review’s recommendations, with an extra $23.4 million to increase palliative care beds and boost access to home-based palliative care.
It means that even more people at the end of their lives can choose to be cared for, and die, at home.
This comes on top of $62 million the Labor Government has already provided to expand rural and regional home based palliative care, establish a state-wide 24-hour expert advice line and deliver grants for end of life auxiliary support services.
The new funding will expand home-based palliative care in areas of growing demand in metropolitan Melbourne and palliative care in isolated rural communities where services did not exist in the past, such as Gippsland.
It also includes a new palliative care unit at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, infrastructure upgrades for community based palliative care services, more palliative care beds in metropolitan Melbourne and additional funding for workforce development and community based palliative care services.
The panel investigated the best way to deliver a high quality, sustainable and flexible palliative care system that improves access to end of life care, no matter where people live, and meets demand now and into the future.
The Labor Government will work with services to address the funding review recommendations, including initiatives to drive better links between community and inpatient services at hospitals.
The Labor Government invests around $144 million in palliative care services annually, with funding increased each year since coming into office.
This funding support comes on top of the Labor Government’s significant reforms to improve end of life care and choices, which includes enshrining advance care directives in law for the first time and passing historic voluntary assisted dying legislation.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy
“Compassionate palliative care services help relieve pain and suffering and make a real difference helping people make the most of every moment as their life draws to an end.”
“We know most people want to die at home, close to family and loved ones. We are investing more in palliative care service in Melbourne and our more isolated parts of the state, so these final wishes can be fulfilled wherever you live.”