TERMINALLY ill people will be offered greater choice and control over how and where they live their final days by investing in new models of palliative care, the Member for Ballarat, Catherine King, said.
Ms King visited Ballarat Hospice Care to outline Labor’s proposal to improve choices and care for people in their final days. Ms King said too many Australians are not able to choose where and how they are cared for before they die. “There are many people around Ballarat who have seen a loved one pass away in a hospital or nursing home, which is often the last place they wanted to spend their final days,” Ms King said. “Up to 70 per cent of Australians want to die at home, but only 14 per cent do so and we have a duty to help people fulfil their dying wish,” she said. Statistics show more than half of Australians die in hospitals and around a third die in nursing homes.
“Labor is committed to improving palliative care in all settings, and to helping all Australians be as comfortable as possible at the end of their life. In a decent society, it’s the very least we can do,” Ms King.
“I’m really proud that a Labor Government will invest $35 million over four years to roll out new models of palliative care,” she said.
Labor’s new approach to palliative care will include:
• $21.7 million for new Palliative Care at Home packages. Under these packages, Primary Health Networks will be funded to commission the services that Australians need to stay at home at the end of their lives.
• $9 million over four years to roll out the Proactive Palliative Care model. Labor’s Proactive Palliative Care package will fund palliative care specialists to partner with residential aged care facilities to promote palliative and end-of-life care.
• Working with the states and territories, through the Council of Australian Governments, to expand the use of consistent advanced care directives across Australia.
• $2.3 million over three years to allow Palliative Care Tasmania to continue its important work.
• $1 million over three years to fund Palliative Care Australia to improve paediatric palliative care support, including to: • Develop new resources for families, such as on talking to terminally ill children and their siblings about death. • Create an online community for the families of terminally ill children, so that parents and carers are less isolated. • Build evidence on paediatric palliative care needs across Australia, to address current gaps and plan services and supports for the future.
“Labor is committed to ensuring that all Australians are comfortable and able to live their final days in the circumstances of their choice and I was really pleased to share the plan with the staff and volunteers at Ballarat Hospice Care today,” she said. “Ballarat Hospice Care is an amazing group of committed people wanting to help people at the end of their life. Our policy will enhance the great work they do for people in the Ballarat community,” Ms King said. Ballarat Hospice Care assists over 300 people in their homes each year and is currently helping care for 147 ill clients.