Conversations about dying can be difficult, but it’s something we will all have to face. Good palliative care can ensure we receive the care we want.
More than 70 per cent of Australians would prefer to die at home, but less than 20 per cent do. Failing to have these conversations is depriving Australians with life threatening illnesses, their carers and families of better quality of life.
Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients, carers and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.
Improving palliative care improves people’s quality of life. The Greens will commit $76 million over four years to:
- Increase funding for palliative care by $15 million annually.
- Develop nationally consistent model legislation for advanced care planning.
- Provide $5m to Palliative Care Australia, to develop a model for a National Cooperative for Palliative and End of Life Care.
- Provide $10m for a national awareness campaign, and
- Provide $1m for research projects to improve our understanding of palliative care challenges.
Better advanced care planning
The Greens will work to improve the palliative care system, so that individuals, carers and their families have the right support.
Advance care planning supports people having control over their own life and their wishes respected, removes the stress of decision-making from others, reduces scope for family disagreements about what the patient would want, and provides guidance if patients can no longer make their own decisions and/or have no family to make decisions for them.
The Greens will work with states and territories to develop nationally consistent model legislation for advance care planning.
A National Cooperative
Palliative Care Australia has proposed the establishment of a National Cooperative for Palliative and End-of-Life Care, so that Commonwealth and state and territory governments can work together to improve palliative care, and provide better services across different levels of government.
The Greens will provide $5 million to Palliative Care Australia, to work with multiple levels of government and prepare a detailed model, including options for improving services, and ways in which palliative care can be better delivered across multiple levels of government.