Palliative Care NSW response to the 2024–25 NSW State Budget 

In our pre-budget submission, Palliative Care NSW emphasised the critical need for enhanced funding, support and resources in palliative care services across New South Wales.  Unfortunately we did not see any new palliative care funding announcements (or reinstatement of funding) or even a mention of palliative care when the Hon Daniel Mookhey MLC, Treasurer, handed down the 2024-25 budget on Tuesday.    

This budget sees a substantial investment in in social housing, cost of living issues and domestic and family violence support. While health in general has been highlighted in this budget, as earlier mentioned, what was not outlined in any of the 2024-25 budget papers was Palliative Care specifically. We understand that funding for Palliative Care will remain as previously announced by the Health Minister: $1.7 billion over 4 years from 2023-24 to 2026-27.  2024-25 will see an 8% increase on the funding provided in this current financial year.   Using simple maths, as health and government maths is complex, $1.7 billion over 4 years, only equates to an investment of $425 million per year across the state.  With the demand for Palliative Care set to increase by 50% by 2030, which is only six years away, there remains significant concern from the sector and the community that this investment is simply not enough.   

As has been outlined on many occasions, investing in palliative care does not just have a positive impact on those with a life-limiting illness, their families and carers, it also has a positive impact on the broader healthcare system and in particular, can ease some of the pinch points in the acute care system currently being felt. There is now high-quality evidence that shows that people with life-limiting illnesses who receive palliative care at home and in the community have fewer hospital admissions, shorter stays in hospital when admitted, spend less time in Emergency Departments and Intensive Care Units, and use ambulance services less frequently. Every dollar invested in home and community based palliative care delivers a 100% return on investment (KPMG, 2020).  

Why is this message not being heard?  

Why is the government not supporting the people of NSW to die in their location of choice, supported by accessible and quality palliative care? 

Palliative Care NSW will continue to advocate for the investment needed to support people and their families living with a life-limiting illness, healthcare professionals, volunteers, carers and communities.  

While no new specific Palliative Care funding announcements, here’s our pick of some of the most relevant budget announcements for the palliative care sector and supporting media releases, tools for more in-depth information.  The 2024-25 Budget outlines $31.1 billion expenses on Health, representing 25.5% of the total general government expenses. 

$31.4 million to increase Hospital in the Home

This increase in the Hospital in the Home program across the State will allow over 3,500 additional patients each year to be cared for in their home rather than a hospital bed.  We will be seeking more information from NSW Health on this program, how it is accessed and any connection to palliative care and end-of-life care services.  

Additional frontline health workers and support   

  • $274.7 million to boost staffing at newly built and upgraded hospitals across the state as part of the Essential Health Services Fund.  This will enable an additional 250 healthcare workers across the state including at Prince of Wales Hospital, Tweed Hospital, Bowral, Sutherland, Wentworth, Cowra, Cooma, Glen Innes, and Griffith.  PCNSW will be seeking more information on these additional roles and if any of these are allocated to palliative care.  
  • Making 1,112 temporary nurses permanent and delivering an extra 500 regional paramedics  
  • Abolishing the wages cap and a commitment to delivering the highest wage increases for health workers in over a decade 
  • Introducing health worker study subsidies and doubling rural health incentives  

Hospital infrastructure

Promises the delivery of upgraded hospitals and health facilities including: 

  • $395.3 million of additional funding to deliver ongoing hospital redevelopments at Eurobodalla, Ryde, Temora, Liverpool, Integrated Mental Health Complex at Westmead, Moree, Nepean, Cessnock and Shellharbour Hospital.  PCNSW will be looking to understand if any of these redevelopments will include dedicated palliative care units and facilities.  
  • An investment of $265.0 million in a critical Port Macquarie Hospital upgrade. 
  • Continued investment in the Lower Mid North Coast (Manning and Forster-Tuncurry). 


View Media Release


Essential Worker Housing 

$650.1 million to build essential worker housing for nurses, teachers, police officers, paramedics and firefighters. This plan includes:  

  • $450 million for a Key Worker Build-to-Rent Program across Sydney (400 homes) 
  • $200.1 million for key health worker accommodation across rural and regional areas of the state (supporting 500 healthcare workers). Early assessment has identified a number of possible future locations such as Lismore, Eurobodalla, Tweed Heads and Lake Cargelligo. 


View Media Release

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat.


Cost of Living Support

Three specific initiatives to highlight and to make volunteers and relevant patients aware of:  

  • Free Working with Children Checks for volunteers, students on a professional placement, and potential adoptive parents or authorised carers. 
  • Medical Energy Rebate of up to $350 per year for eligible concession holders with medically diagnosed inability to self-regulate their body temperature in extreme environmental temperatures. 
  • Life Support Rebate provides annual assistance of up to $1,639 per equipment type for people who need to use approved energy-intensive life support equipment at home. 

Disability Sector Reform

A new Disability Reform Taskforce, led by The Cabinet Office and the Department of Communities and Justice, will be established to lead the Government’s reform priorities. The 2024-25 Budget provides $7.1 million for the Taskforce to respond to recommendations of the Disability Royal Commission and to lead State reforms in the NDIS. 

Multicultural Community Investment

A record investment in supporting the State’s multicultural communities with $85 million over the next four years, including ongoing investment for Multicultural NSW. Designed to provide all NSW residents with access to important government information and services, regardless of where they live or what language they speak. 

An additional $7.5 million will establish Multilingual NSW as a one-stop-shop across government to provide translation and interpreting services for important messaging. 


View Media Release


Addressing Homelessness

A $527 million investment in front-line homelessness services: Increased funding for crisis accommodation, supporting front line services to meet operational and wage funding gaps, funding to grow Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations to support culturally safe responses for Aboriginal people experiencing homelessness.  Establishment of the Homelessness Innovation Fund to provide funding to support the sector to deliver innovative responses to the current crisis. 


View Media Release