WA’s sickest and most vulnerable people will receive improved care with the State Government strengthening palliative care services.
The McGowan Government has injected a record investment $224 million for palliative care services boosting end of life care.
The investment follows recommendations in the Joint Select Committee Report on End of Life Choices to support care for metropolitan and regional WA.
$17.8 million will be invested to enhance palliative care services.
It includes $9 million for an additional 10 inpatient palliative care beds in the northern metropolitan suburbs, $6.3 million to expand community based services in metropolitan and regional WA to meet demand.
$2.5 million will be spent to enhance regional palliative care by providing care closer to home by increasing community based services, in-home palliative care support and delivery of on-country visits.
More staff will be phased in across regional WA, with jobs for more than 61 full-time equivalent employees as part of the government’s $41 million end of life choices and palliative care services package in the State Budget.
It will triple palliative care support staffing in regional WA, with the establishment of new specialist district palliative care teams including medical, nursing, allied health and Aboriginal health workers across all regions.
$3 million will used to enable a 24-hour support through the WA Country Health Service telehealth hub.
The government said a purpose-built 38-bed residential aged and palliative care facility in Canarvon worth $16.6 million is already in progress.
Health Minister Roger Cook said the funding will enable palliative care where it is needed in WA.
“This will see additional medical, nursing, allied health and Aboriginal health workers dedicated to providing palliative care on-the-ground in country WA and will enhance community based support across the State,” Mr Cook said.
“We know it’s important for those in the final stages of their life to be surrounded by family and friends and that’s why $3 million of this funding will be allocated to provide 24-hour nursing care via Telehealth.”
He said it would improve access to health.
“For those in regional areas, this funding will particularly ease the burden on travelling and discomfort, and enhance services and technology for better care at a community level,” Mr Cook said.
Premier Mark McGowan said the investment would give people “the best of end of life care and choice.”
“The Government’s expansion of palliative care services and inpatient beds will better support people of all ages with a life-limiting or terminal illness to live their lives as fully and comfortably as possible,” Mr McGowan said.
“We want to ensure our sickest and most vulnerable Western Australians are cared for comfortably, with dignity and close to home duriing their final stages of life.”