$100M budget boost to palliative care

Cancer Council NSW welcomes the news that the NSW Government will invest $100 million into palliative care services in Coffs Coast region and across the state.

Palliative care provides essential care and support to people living with a terminal illness. It allows people to maintain their quality of life in a way that is meaningful to them. The announcement comes after years of campaigning by Cancer Council NSW and its community of advocates in Coffs Coast region.

Brenna Smith, Community Engagement Manager at Cancer Council NSW said this was an excellent step forward as funding for palliative care in NSW is so desperately needed.

“We are thrilled to see the NSW Government taking action in this regard and congratulate them on their positive funding commitment. This is a significant boost to palliative care funding, which will make a real difference to people’s lives.

“When someone has a terminal illness, they deserve the best possible care and support, whenever and wherever it’s needed. This is why improving access to palliative care in Coffs Coast region is a priority for Cancer Council NSW, and something we have been drawing to the government’s attention for a number of years.”

Access to specialist palliative care is a particular gap in NSW and Cancer Council NSW welcomes the additional nursing and physician positions made possible by this funding commitment, as a first step to addressing the shortage of specialist palliative care.

“In addition to specialist palliative care, one of our priorities in the Cancer Council NSW I Care for Palliative Care campaign is to ensure culturally appropriate palliative care for Aboriginal people. We look forward to discussing with Government how this package of initiatives will address the needs of Aboriginal people and families in Coffs Coast region palliative care,” added Ms Smith.

“For years, CanAct community volunteers, Push for Palliative campaign leaders and Cancer Council staff have kept the need for more palliative care in the hearts and minds of our politicians, and this response shows they have listened,” Ms Smith concluded.

People who are interested in joining NSW’s community of advocates to help influence and change what politicians do about cancer are encouraged to visit www.canact.com.au.

About specialist palliative care

Specialist palliative care allows people with advanced cancer to maintain their quality of life in a way that is meaningful to them. It is provided by a multidisciplinary team including specially qualified and experienced doctors and nurses.

It helps people feel in control of their situation and make decisions about their ongoing care; catering for the physical, practical, emotional and spiritual needs of patients, families and carers.

Specialist palliative care also provides support and advice to GPs and other health care professionals so they can continue to be involved in their patient’s care.

About the CanAct community

CanAct is a community of thousands of advocates with the passion and power to change what politicians do about cancer. In the past, the CanAct community has successfully advocated for successive governments to:

  • abolish co-payments for Highly Specialised chemotherapy drugs;
  • protect the community from e-cigarettes;
  • introduce smoke-free outdoor areas;
  • improve sun protection policies for primary schools;
  • ensure cigarettes are out of sight in retail stores;
  • increase funding for bowel cancer screening; and
  • ban commercial solariums.