We are pleased to see the Implementation Plan for the National Palliative Care Strategy (2018) has been released.
Palliative Care Australia, the national peak body for palliative care, welcomed the release as a vital next step in progressing the development and delivery of palliative care across Australia. Its release comes at a critical time, with the COVID-19 pandemic and the work of the Aged Care Royal Commission highlighting the increasing need for palliative care.
The Implementation Plan has identified four key action areas to progress the goals and priorities in the Strategy over the next five years.
- Increasing access to palliative care, particularly for underserved populations
- Improving collaboration and coordination of palliative care
- Increased us of advance care plans by people affected by life-limiting illnesses
- Nationally consistent data collection mechanisms with national public reporting
Palliative Care Australia CEO Rohan Greenland did sound a note of caution, saying there is still one critical factor to be addressed. “The next step must be adequate funding. Indeed, the National Palliative Care Strategy 2018 makes very clear the necessity to ensure a greater investment in palliative care in Australia,” Mr Greenland said.
It is also important for Governments to recognise that investment in palliative care will in fact save money in other areas of the health and aged care system. “This was the key message from a recently published economic study into the value of palliative care. The KPMG report, Investing to Save: The Economics of Increased Investment in Palliative Care in Australia, commissioned by PCA, found that palliative care is one of the few positive health interventions that also provides a positive return on investment,” Mr Greenland said.
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