Palliative care services across the state will receive a further $82.8 million over the next four years, to improve support for people with a life-limiting or terminal illness.
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the 2021-22 Budget funding boost is on top of more than $220 million that the NSW Government invests each year in palliative care services and support.
“We know in Australia only a small proportion of people die suddenly. Most people experience a prolonged period of disability, frailty and illness,” Mr Perrottet said.
“This funding will help thousands of families across the state, particularly in regional NSW and Western Sydney, to provide dignity to people at the end of life’s journey.”
As part of this investment, Western Sydney Local Health District will receive funding to enhance its hospital-based palliative care services with additional inpatient beds.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the $82.8 million funding would provide:
- a workforce boost of up to 120 full time equivalent staff including additional nurses, allied health and medical staff;
- multidisciplinary care to maintain patient wellbeing and independence at home;
- additional consumer information and support for patients, families and carers
“On top of workforce boosts, increased end-of-life support packages and enhanced bereavement services, additional virtual care services will ensure regional patients get the support they need from the comfort of their home,” Mr Hazzard said.
“The additional funding will also support dedicated inpatient beds at cancer hospital and cancer treatment centre Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.”
The funding includes $2 million (recurrent) for Manly Adolescent and Young Adult Hospice, Australia’s first dedicated hospice for young people due to open in July 2022.
The funding boost comes in addition to the NSW Government’s recent palliative care commitments including $100 million in 2017, $45 million in 2019 and $56 million in 2020, and is a clear statement of the commitment the Government has to supporting patients at the end of life.