Western Australians requiring palliative care and end-of-life support will benefit from a $16.3 million injection that will strengthen end of life care and support implementation of the Voluntary Assisted Dying legislation.
The projects were developed in response to recommendations made by the Joint Select Committee Report on End of Life Choices, My Life, My Choice, and follow on from significant progress and investment already made.
Whilst a tender is underway for 10 additional inpatient palliative care beds in the northern suburbs at a cost of approximately $9 million, $1.9 million has been allocated for five interim dedicated palliative care beds recently opened at Joondalup Health Campus to meet the immediate need.
Additionally, $14.4 million has been injected into projects, which consists of:
- $5.7 million ($5.7 million each from the McGowan Government and Commonwealth Government) for the expansion of a range of community services providing residents of aged care facilities with support to meet their medical and personal needs as they near the end of life;
- $2.4 million to be dedicated to address recommendations relating to Advance Health Directives, which are legal documents that enable individuals to document decisions about what treatment they would want, or not want, to receive if they became sick or injured and were incapable of communicating those wishes, and the establishment of a community hotline service;
- $3.7 million to improve the way end of life care is provided, support health care providers to access information, education and training resources and examine how technology can support better patient care; and
- a $2.6 million commitment that will enable the implementation of the Voluntary Assisted Dying legislation, which was passed in December 2019, to be completed by mid-2021 and also support operation of the legislation after commencement.
As stated by Health Minister Roger Cook:
“The McGowan Government is committed to ensuring that all Western Australians are well informed about their options and have access to the very best of care as they near the end of life and have greater options as to where they can comfortably see out their days.
“This major funding injection supports these aims and also progresses our landmark Voluntary Assisted Dying legislation.
“The McGowan Government remains committed to ensuring the delivery of high quality and equitable end of life and palliative care for all Western Australians who are at the end of life.”
As stated by Joondalup MLA Emily Hamilton:
Providing quality health care and infrastructure in Joondalup is a top priority of mine, and I am working hard to advocate for permanent palliative care beds located at the Joondalup Health Campus.
“End of life support and palliative care at the Joondalup Health Campus is needed to ensure that patients can spend quality time with their loved ones while not having to worry about time, costs and travel.
“I am so pleased to see that there have been an additional five interim palliative care beds established at the Joondalup Health Campus to meet current demand and I look forward to seeing more come online.”
As stated by Wanneroo MLA Sabine Winton:
“It is so important that we have palliative care for patients close to where they live in the northern suburbs.
“This announcement builds on our focus on the northern suburbs and giving access to palliative care beds close to Wanneroo.”