Palliative Care Queensland

Palliative Care still a key issue for Queensland

Inequity of services for palliative care patients across the state remains a key issue for Palliative Care Queensland (PCQ) at the state election.

PCQ State Council representative Dr Will Syrmis said the Newman government had made some progress following their review in 2013, but gaps in care remain.

“Access to services for consumers, particularly in rural and remote parts of the state, continues to be a concern. There are a number of services doing great work around the state, but they are not necessarily recognised for their contribution.

“A number of services face an uncertain future, with no project funding for palliative care secured beyond July 2015”, he said.

Dr Syrmis said it was dangerous for any of the parties to think the work in palliative care is done.

“We know from the Grattan Institute report Dying Well that high quality care, patient’s wishes and reduced costs come in the form of a commitment to moving palliative care out of the acute setting and into the community.

“This needs to be explored on the national stage as well, but Queenslanders are well known for being the smart state – we could lead the way on this important shift in thinking about palliative care.

“Palliative care is not just about care of the dying, it’s about supporting people to live the best life they can with a terminal illness. They do that with the support of their families and friends, and palliative care contributes to the care of the carers as well.

“We need to support Queenslanders throughout all stages of life and we call on all the parties in this election to sign up to our small, but significant pledges to support Queenslanders in their final years.” Dr Syrmis said.

PCQs election wish list:

  • $2million commitment to increase community awareness of end of life issues
  • $500,000 annually for three years to create a statewide palliative care clinical network
  • $5.4 million annually for support to Queensland families including counselling, bereavement support, respite and volunteer support
  • Renewal of Queensland Health Service Agreements for Palliative Care Projects in place until June 2015
  • Increased access to hospice beds/community based palliative care services
  • A dedicated palliative care policy team
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