Government commits funding to palliative care

By Madeleine Caccianiga

Goulburn Valley Health will take part of $9million to help local patients nearing the end of their lives in palliative care.

The Victorian Government yesterday announced the funding grant for northern Victoria, which includes $3.4million towards infrastructure projects and $5.7million to back hospital and community-based palliative care services.

Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp said the boost would ensure regional patients enjoyed the best possible quality of life.

He said GV Health would establish a specialist palliative care clinic and fast-track a hospital-to-home model of care, ensuring patients received early referral to palliative care and could be discharged earlier.

‘‘Goulburn Valley Health plays a pivotal role in making sure patients at the end of their lives are cared for in the manner they deserve,’’ he said.

‘‘We’re helping palliative care services with this important work by giving them the support they need to grow and to offer patients the very best care.’’

Mr Gepp said palliative care was crucial in making sure patients received the best possible care within their local community.

‘‘The grants will help our palliative services in the critical role they play, helping patients and their families get excellent palliative care, whether at home, in hospital or in other settings,’’ he said.

Mr Gepp said grants would also help providers across the state to expand and bolster services.

GV Health executive director clinical operations Donna Sherringham said she was looking forward to an increase to palliative care.

‘‘We are always looking to enhance the quality of care we provide here at GV Health and, with a growing population across our region, funding towards palliative care is incredibly important,’’ she said.