Palliative Care Boost To Support Terminally Ill Victorians

The Andrews Labor Government is investing more than $62 million in additional funding over the next five years to increase the options for people with a terminal illness to be cared for, and die, in their place of choice.

This includes $19 million to be provided immediately for this financial year. This will help provide more options for support and care, particularly for people living in regional Victoria.

This funding boost will provide:

  • $19.9 million to support home-based palliative care across regional and rural Victoria to provide care for an additional 1,215 people and their families each year
  • $6.25 million to establish a 24-hour expert advice line to address variability of access to after-hours palliative care advice for clients, carers and generalist health services, and address gaps for people living in rural areas
  • $19.5 million to better respond to demand and patient complexity by providing additional palliative care physician or nurse practitioner positions in Regional Palliative Care Consultancy Services
  • $10 million in one off grants for end of life auxiliary support services to assist people, families and carers to manage the day to day activities associated with caring for someone with a terminal illness at home
  • $6.35 million from 2018-19 in the event that Voluntary Assisted Dying is introduced to support the families of people who have accessed Voluntary Assisted Dying.

The Labor Government will also support an independent review of palliative care funding to address any inequities that exist with the current model.

The review will consider how to improve sustainability for palliative care services and boost their capacity to deliver flexible patient-centred care. It will be led by Melbourne Health Board Chair Robert Doyle, St Vincent’s Health Australia Deputy Chair Patricia Faulkner and Goulburn Valley Hospice CEO Carmel Smith.

Most people want to die at home, and we can do more to support their preference.

The Labor Government invests around $135 million per year on palliative care services, and has increased palliative care funding each year since coming into office.

In March this year, the Government also announced a $5 million equipment and infrastructure grant for community palliative care agencies to assist them to deliver care in people’s homes.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy

“We‘re supporting quality and compassionate end-of-life and palliative care that relieves pain and suffering, and helps family, friends and carers.”

“This investment builds on our work to ensure that more Victorians can die at home, surrounded by their loved ones.”

“It will make a real difference to our hardworking palliative care workers and services across the state – particularly in regional Victoria – and will help more people get the care and support they need.”