Walsh makes care pledge

Kyabram Free Press - - WHAT'S ON -

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 un­der­rep­re­sented 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.

❝The ma­jor­ity of Vic­to­ri­ans want to live their fi­nal days at home sur­rounded by fam­ily and friends❞ — Peter Walsh

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