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Palliative Care Australia’s budget submission sparks interest in parliament

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With the Australian Parliament focused on delivering reform across various healthcare systems and services, the ideas and actions presented by Palliative Care Australia are hitting their mark.

The bold initiatives of Palliative Care Australia for palliative care reform are grabbing the attention of the Australian Parliament, with its May Budget Submission creating waves among legislators.

“All parliamentarians have now received our May Budget Submission, with many wanting a deeper understanding and requesting a meeting,” Camilla Rowland said, Chief Executive Officer of Palliative Care Australia (PCA).

The submission outlines a range of practical and evidence-based solutions aimed at meeting the current and future needs of the palliative care workforce and delivering improved access to services across Australia.

But it’s not just about the quality of life for those with life-limiting illnesses. The submission demonstrates that investing in palliative care makes good economic sense and improves the efficiency of the entire health system.

In fact, KPMG estimates that investing just $1 in palliative care nurses in residential aged care can generate up to $4.14 in cost savings through better service allocation and fewer hospitalizations.

Twelve recommendations from the Aged Care Royal Commission highlighted the need to improve the delivery of palliative care in aged care services. That’s why the submission seeks $20.1 million over three years to upskill the existing workforce in palliative care. This investment will form part of the RNs 24/7 in aged care reforms, which is a significant step towards addressing the aged care crisis.

Palliative Care Australia’s May Budget Submission presents a range of other costly initiatives that need funding as part of wider health reform involving aged care, disability, Medicare, and primary care. These include:

  • Developing a Palliative Care Workforce Plan
  • Expanding access to palliative care via in-home and community settings
  • Increasing the number of specialist palliative care services
  • Negotiating a National Palliative Care Funding Agreement
  • Securing funding for PCA as the peak advocacy voice for the sector

“We look forward to contributing to the government’s reform work and driving further change in 2023 and beyond,” Rowland added. “I am grateful to the MPs and Senators who have already reached out wanting to know more; I am available to meet and discuss supporting a good life and a good death for all Australians.”

Media release from Palliative Care AustraliaNote: Content has been edited for style and length.

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