The Government will invest more than $62 million in additional funding for palliative care over the next five years.
This includes $19 million to be provided immediately – so that more Victorians, particularly those in regional areas, can have more choice and control about the support and care they receive at the end of their lives.
“We‘re supporting quality and compassionate end-of-life and palliative care that relieves pain and suffering, and helps family, friends and carers,” Minister for Health Jill Hennessy said today.
“This investment builds on our work to ensure that more Victorians can die at home, surrounded by their loved ones.”
The funding boost includes:
- $19.9 million to support home-based palliative care across regional and rural Victoria to provide care for an additional 1215 people and their families each year
- $6.25 million to establish a 24-hour expert advice line to address variability of access to after-hours palliative care advice for clients, carers and generalist health services, and address gaps for people living in rural areas
- $19.5 million to better respond to demand and patient complexity by providing additional palliative care physician or nurse practitioner positions in Regional Palliative Care Consultancy Services
- $10 million in one off grants for end of life auxiliary support services to assist people, families and carers to manage the day to day activities associated with caring for someone with a terminal illness at home
- $6.35 million from 2018-19 in the event that Voluntary Assisted Dying is introduced to support the families of people who have accessed Voluntary Assisted Dying.
Speaking today, Minister Hennessy said the funding boost “will make a real difference to our hardworking palliative care workers and services across the state – particularly in regional Victoria – and will help more people get the care and support they need.”
An independent review will look at Victoria’s current palliative care funding model to identify ways to make palliative care systems more sustainable and able to deliver more patient-centred care.
The review will be led by Melbourne Health Board Chair Robert Doyle, St Vincent’s Health Australia Deputy Chair Patricia Faulkner and Goulburn Valley Hospice CEO Carmel Smith.