Friday, 27 April, 2018

More people with a terminal illness in Gippsland will be able to get the compassionate palliative care they need, closer to home, thanks to an Andrews Labor Government boost to services and jobs in the sector.

Minister for Health Jill Hennessy today announced regional palliative care consultancy services across regional areas that will share in $3.9 million to help them expand their workforce and meet increasing demand.

Latrobe Regional Hospital, through the Gippsland Regional Consultancy Service, will receive $803,656 – which will provide additional palliative medicine specialist, nurse practitioner and social work hours to ensure a more regular service across Gippsland, as well as a new psychologist to enhance support for patients and families.

The Labor Government is investing more than $62 million in additional funding over five years to support more terminally ill Victorians to be cared for, and die, at home.

Some regions will almost double their current staffing levels. This will mean services can better respond to demand and patient complexity, and will provide locals with high quality end-of-life care that relieves pain and suffering – and empower them and their families to make more decisions about their care.

In 2017, the Government invested $1.25 million to establish a 24-hour expert palliative care advice line, $3.86 million to improve access to community palliative services for people living in regional Victoria and $10 million in grants for end-of-life ancillary support services.

These funding boosts will provide home-based palliative care for additional 1,215 people and their families.

The Labor Government invests around $135 million per year on palliative care services – including grants for community palliative care agencies – and has increased funding each year since coming into office.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy:

“We know most people want to die at home, close to family and loved ones. This boost will give people with a terminal illness in regional Victoria more support to be cared for at home.”

“Compassionate palliative care services help relieve pain and suffering and make a real difference helping people make the most of every moment as their life draws to an end.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing:

“Palliative care is such a crucial part of creating and maintaining dignity and self-determination for patients. The creation of more jobs in palliative care and increased funding will support more Gippslanders to determine where they want to be at the end of their lives.”