Palliative Care Queensland

Palliative Care Queensland welcomes Government boost for non-Government Palliative Care Services but more needed

Queensland’s peak organisation for Palliative Care has commended the Queensland Government on its $886,000 funding support package for seven non-government Palliative Care services throughout the state.

Acting Executive Manager for Palliative Care Queensland, John-Paul Kristensen, said the package would improve the quality of end of life care for Queenslanders.

“We congratulate the Queensland Government on prioritising the needs of terminally ill Queenslanders”, Mr Kristensen said.

“This funding will help enable the delivery of coordinated medical, nursing and allied services to Queenslanders who are terminally ill, delivered in a compassionate environment.

“Palliative Care facilities are vital in providing physical, emotional, social and spiritual support for patients, and support for patients’ families and friends.

“Palliative Care provides terminally ill people with freedom from unnecessary suffering, and enables them to face death with dignity in the setting of their choice.”

Mr Kristensen said that while the one-off funding boost was welcome, increased recurrent funding for non-government providers was essential to ensure that terminally Queenslanders continue to receive quality care at the end of their lives.

“The population of people in Queensland dying from cancer, as well as lung, kidney and heart disease and neurological conditions is increasing alarmingly. As a result, the demand for nongovernment Palliative Care services is greater than ever before.

“It is no longer acceptable to force non-government providers to fund essential health services on charitable donations alone, particularly at a time when the community is suffering due to the economic downturn.

“Over the past five years, other than CPI increases, non-government Palliative Care providers have had no increase in their recurrent funding from Queensland Health.

“Despite this fact, costs and overheads have increased alarmingly, more patients are being cared for than ever before, and valuable dollars continue to be spent on accreditation and other administrative costs,” he said.

“Non-government Palliative Care service providers are some of the most creative and the most resourceful companies in Australia, providing best practice health services despite chronic funding shortages.

“Despite this fact, we still need more than one off funding to ensure that the job gets done. We need significant increases across the board in recurrent contract funding for all Palliative Care services.”

Mr Kristensen said ongoing funding was the only way to address future demand on Palliative Care service providers.

“Ongoing funding is urgently required to support health professionals in their work and to ensure the highest standards of care for our family members and friends as they face the end of life.

“The Queensland Government’s support will also improve the community’s awareness and understanding of Palliative Care, and promote the tireless work of the professionals and volunteers who provide Palliative and end-of-life care in Queensland,” he said.

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