Demand increasing for palliative care

Australian Medical Association

The AMA says too many people with life-limiting conditions are missing out on palliative care as an awareness-raising initiative focuses on the right of all Australians to access high quality palliative care.

AMA President Dr Omar Khorshid said the AMA strongly supports the right of all Australians to access palliative care, but that this requires investment and support.

“Currently, demand is increasing for palliative care, but right now too many Australians with life-limiting conditions are missing out,” Dr Khorshid said.

“High-quality palliative care requires funding, infrastructure, education and training, and most importantly the necessary workforce to ensure patients, their carers and family members, can access palliative care along with respite care, bereavement support, carer’s support and other relevant services,” Dr Khorshid said.

This year’s National Palliative Care Week is focusing on the right of all Australians to access high quality palliative care when and where they need it.

Running from Sunday 22 May until Saturday 28 May the week-long awareness-raising initiative is important, Dr Khorshid said, as it celebrates professionals and volunteers working in the palliative care sector.

“Palliative care supports not only the patient but their family members as well. It offers vital pain and symptom relief, whether the symptoms are physical, emotional, spiritual or social.”

Dr Khorshid said Australia’s entire health system benefits from high-quality palliative care.

“As well as patients and families, palliative care benefits the wider health system as it reduces demands on emergency departments, ambulance services, hospital stays and ICU admissions.”

More information can be found on the Palliative Care Australia website. For the AMA’s policy on palliative care, end of life care and advance care planning, see the AMA’s Position Statement.

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