Planning for the dark side of the pandemic

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Planning for the dark side of the pandemic

PCA Board Chair, Professor Meera Agar has highlighted the critical role of palliative care in the frontline response to the coronaviris pandemic.

Speaking to the Australian Financial Review  journalist Jill Margo for her article Planning for the dark side of the pandemic Prof Agar said PCA acknowledged early on that there will be a critical role for palliative care.

"Palliative care for people who need it, where and when they need it, has never been so critical," Prof Agar told the AFR.

"We realised that many of the issues the whole health system will face, will be the issues we face daily. And while the scale will be unprecedented, the end-of-life skills are the same.

"We are very well equipped in caring for people with complex illness, with distressing symptoms – in hospital and at home – and in supporting family while doing so.

To met the anticipated surge of COVID-19 cases, increased palliative care services will be needed "as will new and creative ways to manage what might lie ahead".

PCA has established the Australian COVID-19 Palliative Care Working Group to provide expert advice on government policy decisions in partnership with  Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine (ANZSPM), Palliative Care Nurses Australia (PCNA), Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine (AChPM) of the Royal College of Physicians (RACP), End of Life Directions for Aged Care (ELDAC), Paediatric Palliative Care Australia and New Zealand  (PAPCANZ), CareSearch and caring@home.

"All the states are working closely with their respective health departments and we have a good structure in place to raise issues quickly."

Professor Agar reiterated the palliative care community's common adage that "we prepare for the worst and we hope for the best".

Read the full AFR article Planning for the dark side of the pandemic 

More information about the Australian COVID-19 Palliative Care Working Group and regular COVID-19 updates are available at