The McGowan Labor Government is providing additional support and care to the sickest Western Australians through an end-of-life choices and palliative care services package.
The new funding brings the McGowan Government’s spend on palliative care services in 2019-20 to a record $47.4 million.
The 2019-20 State Budget includes a $41 million investment for extra support and enhanced community-based palliative care services across the State. This package brings the total investment by the State Government for palliative care services over the next four years to $206.2 million.
An extra $5 million, as part of the package, is set aside for a purpose-built, 38-bed residential aged and palliative care facility in Carnarvon. This funding is in addition to $11.6 million already allocated to build the new facility.
The new funding investment will go towards a multi-disciplinary model including medical, nursing, allied health and Aboriginal health workers. This support and services will be available seven days per week, supported by a central telehealth service to provide after-hours care.
Palliative care helps people with any life-limiting or terminal condition to live their lives as fully and as comfortably as possible by treating symptoms which may be physical, emotional, spiritual or social. It also provides practical and emotional support to family and carers.
Improving palliative care services in Western Australia was a recommendation of the Joint Select Committee Report on End of Life Choices, to ensure support is available to those who need it most.
The Minister for Health has heard the concerns of the sector, raised with him by Palliative Care WA and a number of stakeholders, regarding greater clarity for palliative care reform and will be convening a Palliative Care Summit to hear from health professionals, consumers and stakeholders. This will explore ideas to improve and strengthen palliative care for all Western Australians. Details of the summit will be announced in due course.
As stated by Health Minister Roger Cook:
“Palliative care is an essential part of end-of-life care. It allows our sickest and most vulnerable Western Australians to be cared for comfortably and with dignity during their final stages of life.
“The McGowan Government supports the recommendations of the Joint Select Committee Report on End of Life Choices, specifically in relation to the State-wide expansion of palliative care services.
“This $41 million package will ensure people with any life-limiting or terminal condition to live their lives as fully and as comfortably as possible closer to home, their friends, families and loved ones.”