Palliative Care Victoria welcomes today’s announcement that a Liberals National Government in Victoria would invest a record $140 million over 4 years to improve access to world class community palliative care services for Victorians.

“This tells Victorians with a life limiting illness and their families that their quality of life and the provision of services to meet their needs is a priority,” said Odette Waanders, CEO of Palliative Care Victoria.

Around 40,000 Victorians die each year but at least one in four miss out on needed benefits of palliative care. Currently, 55% of palliative care services are unable to meet demand.

The proposed substantial increases in community palliative care services would mean that up to 8,000 more people would be able to receive the care and support they need.

“We are pleased that a community awareness program would improve understanding about and access to palliative care.

“Many people do not realise that palliative care improves the quality of life of people with a life limiting illness and their families. It provides expert help to relieve suffering so people can focus on what matters most in the time they have left – which may be weeks, months or years. It also supports people to die in comfort and assists those caring for them, including with grief and loss.

“Most people wish to receive care and to die at home. The proposals focus on making this possible. Palliative care services would be able to provide more expert medical, nursing and other support to people living at home.

“There would also be better support for family and friends providing care when there are unexpected changes overnight and at weekends. More intensive palliative care support would also be available at home during the last days of life – preventing unwanted admissions to hospital,” she said.

“This is a very significant commitment to ensure that our health services are better equipped to support people with a life limiting illness to live well, to die well and to grieve well. It includes a workforce development strategy and shows the foresight and priority needed to meet growing community need for high quality palliative care and end of life care,” concluded Odette Waanders.


Image and story credit: Palliative Care Victoria