Palliative Care Victoria is urging the Victorian Government to step up comprehensive action to address the avoidable harm to many people who are dying difficult deaths across Victoria.
“Increases for palliative care have declined in the last two years and are just a fraction of the $50 million a year needed in additional funding for palliative care services across Victoria,” said Dr Judi Greaves, Chair of Palliative Care Victoria.
“On a daily basis we receive calls from distressed people who are seeking help for a person who is dying and suffering needlessly. This is occurring in hospitals, in aged care facilities and in homes across Victoria,” she said.
“This is due to a range of factors including inadquate training of health professionals in the care of the dying person, failure to refer to palliative care, and palliative care services unable to meet the need due to lack of resources,” Dr. Greaves said.
The Victorian Government responded today to recommendations of the End of Life Choices Inquiry, which included 27 recommendations to improve palliative care.
“Today’s announcement by the Victorian Government to introduce legislation next year to legalise voluntary assisted dying for terminally ill people may provide more choice for people who wish to take up this option.
“However, the majority of people want to die naturally, with dignity and in comfort, receiving high quality care and support for their carers,” she said.
“We are pleased that the Victorian Government has accepted all 27 recommendations to improve palliative care and that it has already commenced work on some of these. However, without substantial funding increases, progress will be slow and many people will continue to suffer difficult deaths that could be avoided,’ she said.