Catholic health leaders have welcomed a promised boost to palliative care funding in next week’s New South Wales budget, but say more needs to be done to ensure it is available for every person. Source: The Catholic Weekly.
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said that almost $83 million will be added to the funding of palliative care services in NSW in the budget to be released on Tuesday.
Currently around $220 million is spent each year in NSW on palliative care for people with a life-limiting illness. But palliative care providers in the state consistently report that funding is inadequate to meet growing demand, particularly in remote and regional areas.
The often significantly underfunded levels of palliative care have been a factor in the success of euthanasia legislation in several states, palliative care advocates say.
The NSW boost comes as independent MP Alex Greenwich confirmed that in July he will release draft voluntary assisted dying legislation based on the West Australian model.
Rebecca Burdick Davies, director of strategy and mission at Catholic Health Australia, said: “While the $83 million in additional funding is a good start, we’d like to see the NSW Government go further and commit to providing palliative care to every person who wants and needs it,” Ms Burdick Davies said.
“Around the country our members have been pushing for more funds for high-quality accessible palliative care as the compassionate alternative to assisted suicide."
Health leaders respond to NSW palliative care promise (By Marilyn Rodrigues, The Catholic Weekly)