A $45 million State Government funding boost will see extra palliative nurses working in hospitals, palliative care facilities, communities and homes to ensure patients can access the care they need, in the setting they choose.
NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro says 64 of the 100 palliative care nurses would be assigned to regional and rural NSW.
“We are doing everything we can to ensure patients and their loved ones have access to the best quality palliative care in the best possible facilities no matter where they live,” says Mr Barilaro, who spoke at Coffs Harbour Hospital where they can expect five new palliative care nurses.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard says the commitment also includes $10 million for improvements to existing palliative care facilities across the State.
“The emotional and financial challenges for patients and their carers are considerable so we will continue to do all we can to help people through this challenging time,” Mr Hazzard says.
The $45 million boost to palliative care funding will also:
Increase the number of full-time equivalent palliative care Aboriginal health workers from nine to 18, so that every district and network in NSW has a full-time position;
Increase the use of digital health solutions to improve end of life care to people living in rural and remote areas throughout NSW;
Connect young people in regional areas through digital health solutions to the new Adolescent and Young Adult Hospice in Manly, and funding a senior clinical role to support its staff; and
Support the refurbishment of existing palliative care facilities across NSW, providing a home away from home for patients.
The investment is on top of a $100 million package for palliative care that was announced as part of the 2017-18 Budget, which is already delivering more palliative care nurses and community-based palliative care services across the State.