Victorians are being urged to have their say about the services they want to support them at the end of their and their loved ones’ lives.
Many people with a life-limiting illness die in hospital, when they would have preferred to die at home. Figures show that up to 70 per cent of Australians would prefer to die at home, but only 14 per cent actually do so.
A new Discussion Paper – Greater Say for Victorians: Improving End of Life Care – has been released, and consultation will be undertaken in coming months with health professionals, carers, families and members of the community to develop a new state-wide end of life care framework.
Prior to the election, Labor committed to introducing statutory recognition of advance care directives to ensure Victorians have greater say over their treatment preferences for future conditions and can decide their end of life care wishes.
The Discussion Paper looks at how to strengthen the framework to:
- Enable genuine choice
- Support individuals, families and carers
- Respond to diversity
- Help people to die well
- Support the workforce.
Victoria’s end of life care system comprises hospital wards and hospices, community palliative care services, consultancy services and respite day hospices.
The Discussion Paper is available at , or a hard copy can be requested by calling 03 9096 1337. Submissions can be received until Friday 18 December 2015 via the website, , or by mailing Continuing Care – Health Service Programs, GPO BOX 4057, Melbourne VIC 3001.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy
“We know that more and more Victorians want to be cared for in the embrace of family and friends in their own home at the end of their lives.”
“Victorians deserve the best possible end of life care – care that relieves pain and suffering, and provides empowering support to family, friends and carers.”
“It’s so important that families and the wider community talk openly and honestly about end of life care. It can be a difficult topic, but it affects all of us.”
Quotes attributable to Parliamentary Secretary for Carers and Volunteers Gabrielle Williams
“We want to hear from all Victorians so we can develop a strong end of life care framework to best meet the needs of our diverse community.”
“End of life care is not something to put off to the ‘never never’. The earlier families talk about what care and support they want at the end of their life, the clearer and easier it is.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020