More palliative care funding for Queenslanders and the Wish Ambulance

October 18, 2020

A re-elected Palaszczuk Government will invest a further $171 million in palliative care funding to ensure Queenslanders get the highest quality care at the end of their lives.

This follows the recent announcement of an additional $195,000 that the Palaszczuk Government has invested with Palliative Care Queensland’s beloved Wish Ambulance to continue to grant Queenslanders’ dying wishes.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said caring for older Queenslanders was a top priority for the Labor Government.

“During the COVID-19 global pandemic, I worked hard every day to keep Queenslanders safe, especially our older Queenslanders,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

That health response means we can continue to implement our plan for economic recovery, including investing more in support for seniors.

“Older Queenslanders worked hard to build this state and I want to continue to look after them.

“My Government will invest $171 million to improve the care provided to Queenslanders at the end of their lives.

“This will be the biggest single injection in palliative care funding in Queensland’s history.

“This investment is expected to support over 290 jobs across Queensland in public and community-based health services and supports our Economic Recovery Plan.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for Health and Ambulance Steven Miles said caring for Queenslanders at the end of their lives was one of the most important responsibilities a government could have.

“Last year I launched Ambulance Wish Queensland to grant terminally ill Queenslanders the dying wishes they would otherwise be unable to experience,” Mr Miles said.

“Since then, Ambulance Wish has helped so many Queenslanders including visits to the beach, eating their favourite ice-cream and meeting their great grandchild for the first time.

“Our $195,000 commitment to Palliative Care Queensland will fund more staff and resources so the Wish Ambulance can keep granting wishes."

Mr Miles said demand for palliative care services was increasing as the Queensland population aged.

“We will invest $102.5 million to employ more front-line palliative care staff and invest $54.8 million for community-based service providers to deliver home-based hospice care,” he said.

“This means more Queenslanders will be able to have their wish of spending their last days at home.

“The funding will also expand after-hours services run by our public hospitals and improve digital services and telehealth support for staff, patients and their families.

“We will also fund additional education and advocacy about palliative care.”

Mr Miles said the Palaszczuk Labor Government had established an historic parliamentary inquiry to drive palliative care reform.

“The parliamentary inquiry into palliative and end of life care informed this important funding announcement,” Mr Miles said.

The $171 million investment in palliative care over six years will include: 

● Developing a new Palliative and End-of-Life Care Strategy to strengthen and reform palliative and end-of-life care by providing improved equity of access and choice for Queenslanders

● Investing $102.5 million to employ more front-line palliative care staff to look after Queenslanders

● Investing $54.8 million for community-based service providers to deliver home-based hospice care for adults and children and after-hours services delivered through Hospital and Health Services

● Enhancing palliative care digital services and telehealth support for patient and for staff

● Launching a 24/7 hotline to provide support to palliative care practitioners

● Delivering additional palliative care public education and advocacy, including advice on Advanced Care Directives, Wills and Enduring Powers of Attorney.