The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has highlighted the need for planning for growing demand for local palliative care options in rural and remote communities, and invest now to meet that demand.
“The need for palliative care will increase significantly in Australia as our population ages – and this will be exacerbated in the bush,” RDAA president Dr Megan Belot said.
Based on the current trends, it is suggested that there will not be enough palliative care doctors and nurses in the years to come to meet the demands, unless there are plans to encourage more of the next generation of rural health professionals to undertake that extra training.
Dr Belot suggested palliative care training to be included in the new “Rural Generalist” category of doctors that the RDAA has long advocated for.
She also indicated that distance from major teaching hospitals is a fact that needs to be taken into consideration for improving country care for those in late-stage illnesses.
“Rural, remote and First Nations people with life-limiting illnesses want to receive palliative care close to home – they don’t want to be located in a distant hospital receiving care while their family is hundreds of kilometres away,” she said.
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Source: Dubbo photo news