Monday 22 May 2017

People at the end of their lives in Gippsland will soon have better access to high quality and compassionate palliative care, closer to home.

Bairnsdale Regional Hospital will receive $38,147.18, Bass Coast Regional Health $77,188.32, Central Gippsland Health Service $48,972, Gippsland Lakes Community Health Service $61,058.37, Gippsland Southern Health Service $46,278.56, Latrobe Community Health Service $35,100 and West Gippsland Health Care Group $184,045.

This funding for Gippsland health services is part of the Andrews Labor Government’s $5 million equipment fund for palliative care, giving services the tools they need to support people and carers to provide care at home.

This funding will ensure more Victorians with terminal illnesses can spend their last days at home with their family, friends and loved ones.

Community palliative care agencies play an essential role in supporting people with terminal illnesses who wish to die at home, and in 2015/16 they provided care and support to nearly 17,000 Victorians.

Minister for Health Jill Hennessy today also announced the second round of the Andrews Labor Government’s Regional Health Infrastructure Fund will open next Monday and, for the first time, be expanded to include publicly funded community palliative care services.

The $200 million fund – the largest of its kind in Victorian history – will rebuild rural and regional hospitals to ensure all Victorians can access the high quality care and facilities they need, no matter where they live.

In addition to palliative care services, the second round includes all health, community health, aged care, women’s health and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations.

Grants can be used to build new or remodel existing facilities to provide greater comfort for patients and enable doctors and nurses to deliver safer and more efficient care.

Health services can also apply to buy equipment including furniture, fittings, and medical equipment or upgrade essential infrastructure such as plant equipment, systems to reduce power and water usage and information and communications technology.

This boost for palliative care is part of a suite of reforms to ensure every Victorian has access to the best possible end-of-life care. These funds are in addition to the Andrews Labor Government’s $7.2 million End-of-Life and Palliative Care Framework to support end-of-life choices, announced last year.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy:

“We are supporting more people in regional Victoria with a terminal illness to be cared for, and die, in their place of choice.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Harriet Shing:

“Every Victorian should be able to access compassionate and dignified end-of-life care. This fund will make a real difference for seriously ill patients and their families across Gippsland by improving local area access to community palliative care.”