People all over the state are already collecting signatures on a petition to improve funding for palliative care throughout NSW as part of a campaign which was launched on June 30.
Research has shown that the unmet rural palliative care needs are very great. Health Minister Jillian Skinner stated that she cares about palliative care (NSW Parliament 10.8.12) for which there is also bi-partisan support but the community needs to convince Treasury to release the necessary funds.
Dying without the necessary support can be one of the most stressful things people and families can face – we must ensure that people receive the care they need to face the end of their lives with dignity.
The major rural centres like Tamworth need funding for a full time specialist palliative care doctor, and a trainee registrar, more specialist palliative care nurses and more administrative support. Social work support for dying patients and their families is essential, but mostly lacking.
The Tamworth hub must be strengthened to enable the dedicated palliative care workers to provide additional support to the smaller communities in the region such as Moree.
More community nurses and better community supports are also needed to allow patients to be cared for at home which is what most people prefer.
Much can be done with adequate resourcing.
Good palliative care is health promoting and builds social capital.
Having no palliative care is an unmitigated disaster. The new petition asks the government to correct the funding shortfall state-wide.
To access the petition and collect signatures. Email: email@example.com .
Dr Yvonne McMaster,