RESIDENTS would have access to world-class palliative care under a Liberal-Nationals government, Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh has said.
Mr Walsh said an elected Liberal-Nationals state government would provide $140 million – the largest investment of its kind in Australia – to ensure terminally ill patients and their families can get the support they need as they approach the end of their lives.
“The majority of Victorians want to live their final days at home surrounded by family and friends,” Mr Walsh said.
“Research shows around 70 per cent of us would prefer that, but barely a third of Victorians get to realise that wish because there is inadequate funding for community-based palliative care.”
In 2015/16, funding for community palliative care provided support for 16,777 Victorians.
The Liberal Nationals’ $140 million commitment aims to help provide palliative care support for up to another 8,000 Victorians.
The Liberal Nationals’ package will include:
■ Doubling specialist palliative care medical and nursing services to community palliative care clients, especially in rural and regional Victoria.
■ A 50 per cent increase in funding for community palliative care provided in the home, including overnight care, in-home respite and carer support, and enhanced links 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 under-represented groups such as rural and regional Victorians, children, non-cancer related illnesses, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and indigenous Victorians.
■ Establishing 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.