Investment in palliative care makes economic sense

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Investment in palliative care makes economic sense

Parliament House, Canberra

With the Australian Parliament focused on delivering reform across various health systems and services, the ideas and actions presented by Palliative Care Australia are hitting their mark.

“All parliamentarians have now received our May Budget Submission, with many wanting a deeper understanding and requesting a meeting,” says Camilla Rowland, Chief Executive Officer, Palliative Care Australia (PCA).

Our submission details a number of common-sense, evidence-based initiatives that recognise the current and future needs of the palliative care workforce and deliver increased access to services for more Australians when and where they need it.

“We know that investing in palliative care delivers quality of life to those with life-limiting illness, but what our budget submission makes really clear is that it also makes good economic sense and improves the efficiency of the health system more broadly.

“For instance, KPMG estimates that a $1 investment in palliative care nurses in residential aged care can return up to $4.14 through reduced hospitalisations and better service allocation.

“Our May Budget Submission harnesses the existing workforce and seeks to upskill them in the delivery of palliative care, for example we are asking the government for $20.1 million over 3 years to deliver palliative care training as part of the RNs 24/7 in aged care reforms.

“Twelve recommendations of the Aged Care Royal Commission highlighted the need for improvements in the delivery of palliative care by aged care services - upskilling the existing workforce is a big step in addressing the aged care crisis,” Ms Rowland says.

PCA’s May Budget Submission presents the Australian Government with a number of other costed initiatives that need funding as part of wider health reform involving aged care, disabilities, Medicare, and primary care.

Other actions include:

  • Develop a Palliative Care Workforce Plan
  • Expand access to palliative care via in-home and community settings
  • Increase the number of specialist palliative care services
  • Negotiate a National Palliative Care Funding Agreement
  • Secure funding for PCA as the peak advocacy voice for the sector

“We look forward to contributing to the government's reform work and driving further change in 2023 and beyond,” Ms Rowland says.

“I am grateful to the MPs and Senators who have already reached out wanting to know more; I am available to meet and discuss supporting a good life and a good death for all Australians.”

Wednesday, 22 February 2023