Palliative Care Queensland

State Election Is An Opportunity to Provide A Human Right to All Queenslanders

Palliative Care Queensland has today launched its 2020 State Election Campaign, asking the leaders of the state’s major political parties to commit to creating a palliative care sector that is fit for purpose and meets the needs of all Queenslanders.

Developed in partnership with stakeholders from our community of care, including the Australian Medical Association Queensland and representatives from the Queensland Specialist Palliative Care Medical Directors’ Group, the sector’s peak body has created a wish list for our sector, one that if implemented will see positive, lasting benefits for all.

Palliative Care Queensland CEO, Shyla Mills, outlined the sector’s requirements and the golden opportunity available to the next state government, in that “palliative care is a universal need, declared a human right. Sadly, in Queensland, we have a sector in need of urgent reform, one that must have the capacity to meet the needs of all Queenslanders regardless of their age, diagnosis or gender so that care is not determined by a postcode lottery,” said Ms Mills.

Australian Medical Association Queensland’s President, Dr Chris Perry OAM, stated the importance of sector reform, “The sector requires urgent funding to be fit for purpose. Presently the palliative care sector receives only approximately 1% of the Queensland Health budget, a figure that is starkly inadequate for a need that touches everyone in the state. We can’t continue to standby in silence.  The community and sector have responded to a Queensland Inquiry in 2013, and again in 2020, with both of these inquiries having shone a spotlight on major gaps in the funding.  Significant bi-partisan recommendations have been made. We cannot wait another seven years to talk about it again and not see any action. Dying is a part of life. Serious illnesses, dying, death and bereavement are often difficult; however, without a fit for purpose palliative care sector to support Queenslanders, we create unnecessary suffering.”

Click HERE to download the election wishlist.

“The 31 October election is a golden opportunity for all parties to commit to funding the sector and represents a golden opportunity to provide all Queenslanders with a basic human right,” said Dr Perry.

As the state’s peak body, Palliative Care Queensland is seeking an additional $275 million to support a two-pronged reform agenda that both improves palliative care health services and delivery as well as building community capacity.

“To provide all Queenslanders with universal access to palliative care services, the sector requires an additional $275 million in funding from the state’s $19 billion health budget. In simple terms that is $53 for every person in the state or the equivalent of one cup of coffee per person a month; a small investment to make to meet a universal need and address a human right,” said Ms Mills.

The proposed investment provides a roadmap for systematic, positive and balanced transformation of palliative care for all, directly improving the quality of life for terminally-ill Queenslanders at all stages of life – from babies in the womb to seniors.

“With our partners, we have created a roadmap that identifies key needs, provides realistic and measurable solutions and supports communities from the south-east corner to the state’s far north. The investment would enhance home care to provide Queenslanders with choice, improve care delivery service programs and embed critical front-line clinical professionals across a specialist palliative care workforce.”

“Community programs would also receive a significant boost with a clear emphasis placed on building capacity and capability across the state’s diverse regions. This is what Queensland needs to deliver palliative care to the standards determined by the World Health Organisation.”

“On 1 November we want to be able to say that we live in a community where everybody recognises that we all have a role to play in supporting each other in times of loss, ageing, dying and grief, where Queenslanders are supported by a fit for purpose sector that is fully-funded to care for all. We encourage the leaders of the Labor, Liberal National, Greens and all parties to commit to this vision. Loss, ageing, dying, death and grief will affect 100% of your constituents,” said Ms Mills.

Palliative Care Queensland’s Requirements for New Investment in Palliative Care can be accessed HERE

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