The Victorian government plans to overhaul the state’s palliative care system within two years, to enable people to be able to die at home. A new framework for end-of-life and palliative care has been released, and $7.2 million committed to immediately begin integrating, training and expanding the sector to give Victorians more options towards the end of their lives. About 800 people and 40 organisations were consulted for the plan, many of whom stressed that people want access to palliative care in their homes and local areas.
A recent parliamentary end of life choices review found that although most people want to die at home – studies suggest up to 80 per cent – only 14 per cent do, with most dying in hospitals. It also recommended a doctor assisted dying scheme making Victoria the first state in Australia to do so.
The government plans to introduce laws to protect patient’s end-of-life wishes, ensure their preferences are discussed, develop and test new models of home-based care and create a state-wide standard.
“Many people who currently die in hospitals would have much preferred to have died at home, so many people that are trying to provide good palliative care at home could do with additional support,” state government Minister for Health Jill Hennessy said.
The initial $7.2million will be used for training to expand specialist palliative care services, support GPs in local areas to assist people at home, and to develop a standardised care model, she said.
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