$55 million palliative care boost for regional, rural and remote Queensland

JOINT STATEMENT

The Palaszczuk Government is delivering a $55 million boost to palliative care to provide more services in regional, rural and remote Queensland. Blue Care has won the tender to deliver care across nine hospital and health services. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the package would be delivered through the government’s $171 million Palliative Care Reform Program.

“Every Queenslander has the right to die with dignity,” the Premier said.

“This funding will provide better access to palliative care throughout regional Queensland.

“It will also ensure that more Queenslanders can spend what precious time they have left in a comfortable, familiar environment close to family and friends.”

Coinciding with National Palliative Care Week (22-28 May), Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said delivering better access to palliative care services was a priority for the government.

“We made a commitment to provide quality, accessible palliative care to Queenslanders and that’s what we’re delivering,” the Minister said.

“This $55 million will fund new community-based palliative care initiatives to increase home-based and after-hours care across nine Hospital and Health Services.

“We want to ensure Queenslanders can exercise genuine choice at end of life and die with dignity.”

Services will commence from early October across the following hospital and health services:

  • Cairns and Hinterland
  • North West
  • Townsville
  • Mackay
  • Central West
  • Central Queensland
  • Wide Bay
  • Darling Downs
  • South West

The provision of palliative care services for the Torres and Cape HHS will continue to be developed across the local community and in close collaboration with First Nations people.

Ms D’Ath said Blue Care had a proven record as a palliative care provider, with the capability to operate in regional, rural and remote areas.

“Blue Care will provide holistic palliative care including home care support, bereavement and support services, telehealth and on-call and 24/7 nursing care, depending on the stage of a person’s illness and the care needed as they approach end of life,” she said.

Ms D’Ath said today’s announcement tied in with the theme of this year’s National Palliative Care Week – ‘It’s your right’.

“National Palliative Care Week seeks to raise awareness about the rights of all Australians to access high-quality care when and where they need it,” she said.

“The Palliative Care Reform Program we’re implementing will significantly enhance palliative care arrangements in regional, rural and remote regions of the state.”

The five-year Palliative Care reform package also includes $102 million to strengthen Queensland Health’s frontline specialist palliative care workforce.

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