SUPPORT FOR THE DYING

AN ADDITIONAL $35 million of funding to improve access to care and support for people in palliative care will be announced at a state Palliative Care NSW conference in Dubbo today.

About 13,000 people in NSW die each year of cancer, with about two- thirds receiving specialist palliative care.

A similar number die of other conditions where death is predictable, but only about 10 per cent of those receive specialist palliative care in their last year of life. 

The extra funding - to be spread over four years - will top up existing funding of $86 million provided by the NSW government annually.

The Minister for Health and Medical Research, Jillian Skinner is in Dubbo for the conference and will make the announcement.

“NSW already has some good palliative care services in both the public and private sectors, delivered by a variety of organisations, but there are not enough of them and they are not equally available to all communities,” the minister said. 

“This plan is a vital step towards addressing these inequities,” she said.

“We are working towards a NSW where those living with a terminal condition are receiving palliative care and support, at a time they need, in their place of choice.

“We know that to deliver better palliative care services, we must build up community-based options. 

“And we are seeking to involve families more directly in the provision of palliative care to their loved ones, to make it possible for more people to have a real choice about being able to die at home in an environment of love and comfort provided by those closest to them.”

She said palliative care neither hastens nor postpones death.

“...[it] affirms life and approaches dying as a normal process.”

Member for Dubbo Troy Grant said it was wonderful to have the Minister for Health in town to discuss an issue which is close to the heart of many residents in this region.

“Palliative care is an area the NSW government is looking to improve and the minister is taking the first steps today at Dubbo.”

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