$100 MILLION BOOST FOR PALLIATIVE CARE IN COUNTRY NSW

Monday, 20 November 2017

RURAL and regional NSW will see more qualified palliative care staff, additional palliative care specialists and improved medication management, under a $100 million NSW Government funding boost to improve community confidence in the sector, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall announced today.

Mr Marshall said the huge funding boost, which is to be spread over four years, was on top of the $210 million currently provided to palliative care.

“This funding will address many of the challenges currently facing palliative care in our region and comes off the back of extensive community consultation across country NSW,” Mr Marshall said.

“The government and Health Minister Brad Hazzard heard loud and clear that access to services needed to be improved in the bush, more skilled workers needed to be found and service needed to be more patient centred.

“$17.4 million will be spent in this financial year alone, which will be coupled with new palliative care policy based on feedback from users and industry.

“End of life care is a vital component of our medical system and these changes will ensure that options are comfortable, considerate, affordable and accessible to all.

“I encourage anyone interested to read the consultation paper and share their thoughts – this will help guide upcoming policy on palliative care in NSW.”

The NSW Health Palliative Care Roundtables Consultation Paper and survey can be viewed at www.health.nsw.gov.au/palliativecare

Over the four years funding will include:
• $1.2 million to provide 1,200 scholarships for staff in rural and regional areas to enhance their skills in palliative care, with $300,000 to provide 300 scholarships in 2017-18;
• $3.7 million to provide on-the-job training in palliative care for 1,200 nurses and allied health staff, with $900,000 to provide 300 placements in 2017-18;
• $400,000 to improve medication management for palliative care patients through community pharmacy initiatives, with $200,000 in 2017-18;
• $3.3 million for two specialist positions to provide relief to other specialists in rural and regional areas, with $795,000 in 2017-18;
• $10 million for additional palliative care specialists in rural and regional areas, with $2.4 million in 2017-18; and
• $20.7 million for additional 30 palliative care nurses providing care in hospitals, homes and nursing homes, with $5 million in 2017-18.

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