The NSW Government will provide record funding for palliative care across NSW to support people suffering terminal illness and their families.
At a press conference held at Westmead Hospital yesterday, Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Health Brad Hazzard said the upcoming NSW Budget will invest an additional $100 million in palliative care services over the next four years.
“From additional nurses in frontline palliative care to funding for 24-hour community care services, this is a package of funding that will have a powerful and tangible impact across the State,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“At a time in people’s lives where every moment is incredibly precious, this investment is about providing the care options to lessen the strain on them and their loved ones.”
Palliative care aims to improve the quality of life of patients with an active, progressive disease that has little or no prospect of a cure.
Mr Perrottet said: “I am incredibly proud that this Budget includes the most serious commitment of any government in NSW history to give people at the end of life’s journey, and their families, the peace, comfort and support they deserve.
“We have an obligation to honour the dignity of everyone in our community to the very end, and this funding demonstrates our Government’s commitment to meeting that obligation.”
Mr Hazzard said the initiative includes a range of professional training measures.
“This package includes training for 300 nurses and allied health staff, 300 scholarships for rural and regional staff to enhance palliative care skills and 30 additional nurses in hospitals, homes and nursing homes,” Mr Hazzard said.
“We have listened to communities at palliative care roundtables across the state and the message from Broken Hill to Sydney, from Griffith to Lismore is that we need to expand our palliative care resources and choices at a local level.”
“We want the community to have confidence and choice in their end-of-life care and this Budget is a giant leap towards that outcome.”
The 2017-18 State Budget includes funding for:
- palliative care training for 300 nurses and allied health staff ($900,000)
- 300 scholarships for rural and regional staff to enhance palliative care skills ($300,000)
- an additional six palliative care specialists in rural and regional areas ($2.4 million)
- two specialist positions to provide relief to other specialists in rural and regional areas ($795,000)
- an additional 30 palliative care nurses providing care in hospitals, homes and nursing homes ($5 million)
- community-based palliative care services in Western Sydney, including a 24 hour, seven day a week on-call specialist palliative care service at home ($6.9 million)
- the development of comprehensive and integrated palliative care services, in line with community expectations and need ($1 million in 2017-18 as part of a $22 million investment over four years)
- community pharmacy initiatives to improve medication management for palliative care patients ($200,000)