Health district receives new palliative care specialist funds

The Mid North Coast Local Health District is one of nine rural regions to receive funding for a new palliative care specialist.

Chief executive Stewart Dowrick welcomed the announcement.

“The funding for a palliative care specialist position will bolster our team and ensure even greater coverage across the Mid North Coast Local Health District footprint,” he said.

The state government announced the funding on Monday.

Leslie Williams MP

Leslie Williams MP

Parliamentary secretary for health and Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams made the announcement with minister for health Brad Hazzard.

Nine rural and regional areas in NSW will soon have the new palliative care specialists as part of a $3.06 million investment to improve the care and choices for patients.

Along with the Mid North Coast, the other areas to receive the palliative care specialist positions include, Illawarra Shoalhaven, Hunter New England, Murrumbidgee, Northern NSW, Southern NSW, Western NSW, Central Coast and Far West local health districts.

The funding is part of the NSW government’s biggest ever palliative care investment of $100 million over the next four years, including $17.4 million in 2017-18 – on top of the approximately $210 million spent on these services each year, the Port Macquarie MP said.

“The NSW government is committed to investing in palliative care right across the health system so that patients have real choices in the care they receive at the end of their life,” Mrs Williams said.

The 2017-18 budget also committed $795,000 for two rural palliative care relief positions to support specialists and GPs in hospital and in the community.

An expression of interest will be undertaken to identify the local health district/specialty networks to host the two relief positions.