Palliative Care Queensland

Nurses Rally as Palliative Care Beds Close

Following a recent announcement by Health Minister Paul Lucas to close 10 palliative care beds on Brisbane’s Southside, community members and nurses from Canossa Hospital will hold a rally to help draw attention to the growing crisis affecting the palliative care sector in Queensland. The rally, which will take place outside Canossa at 10.00am tomorrow, will be the first time employees from the palliative care sector have openly protested over the failure of Queensland Health to provide care for the terminally ill.

“Caring for dying Queenslanders must be a very low priority for the Queensland Government if the planned closure proceeds”, says Palliative Care Queensland President, Associate Professor Rohan Vora. “Paul Lucas promised that these beds would not close until the 10 replacement beds open at QE11, and PCQ’s position remains that if these 10 palliative care beds close, 10 specialist palliative care beds must be opened immediately within the district. To even consider having to close palliative care beds to cover up a hole in the budget is outrageous and shows that the current Government just doesn’t get it.”

According to Associate Professor Vora, Queensland Health needs to invest far more time and money into developing population based policies that will ensure that quality, dignity and comfort are guaranteed in the last 12 months of life. He advised that closing the beds at Canossa will not only lead to poorer outcomes for dying Queenslanders, it is also unlikely to save money.

“Closing palliative care beds does not save money. It results in dying patients clogging up already busy emergency departments and acute medical wards where staff are inadequately trained to provide the care that these people deserve.”

Opposition Health Minister Mark McArdle will attend the rally tomorrow to launch an e-petition that will aim to save the beds at Canossa, and help ensure that dying Queenslanders continue to have access to the specialist care that they need.

Palliative Care Queensland is the peak body for palliative care in Queensland, representing the interests and aspirations of all who share the ideal of quality care at the end of life. Palliative Care Queensland has almost 300 members, most of whom are specialist palliative care doctors and nurses.

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