End-of-life care will now be easier to access for regional Victorians due to an extension of the government health fund.
The second round of the Andrews Labor government’s Regional Health Infrastructure Fund will open on Monday, which now includes palliative care.
“We are supporting more people in regional Victoria with a terminal illness to be cared for, and die, in their place of choice.” Minister for Health Jill Hennessy said.
“Every Victorian should be able to access compassionate end-of-life care. This fund will make a real difference for patients and their families by improving access to the community palliative care they need.”
The fund is putting $200 million into improving care and facilities for Victorians, particularly in regional and rural areas, who have been diagnosed with an illness that cannot be cured.
Funding is delivered through grants which enable health care providers to construct or renovate facilities.
This will include rebuilding rural and regional hospitals.
Funds can also be used toward the purchase of equipment including furniture and fixtures, plant equipment and information and communications technology.
“We’re putting patients first and revamping our rural and regional health services so more patients can be treated sooner, closer to home.” Ms Hennessy said.
The extension of funding to end-of-life care is part of the recent drive and reform by the government to deliver high quality palliative care, which has included the creation of the End-of-Life and Palliative Care framework.
The framework sets out some of its goals as ensuring people experience optimal end-of-life care and have quality interventions to manage pain. The framework also aims to have the values and preferences of palliative care patients respected including having the choice of where they are cared for and where they die.
Palliative care services have also been included in $1.67 billion for hospitals and health providers allocated in the Victorian Budget 2017/2018.
The creation of a $5 million equipment fund was also announced early this year.
Other sectors that are eligible to apply for grants include:
- Victorian regional and sub-regional health services
- Local and small rural health services,
- Multipurpose services,
- Public residential aged care services,
- Registered community health services,
- Bush nursing hospitals and centres,
- Women’s health services and
- Aboriginal community controlled health organisations.
Certain qualifications must be met in order to be considered for the grants. For more information and to apply for grants, go to https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/hospitals-and-health-services/planning-infrastructure/regional-health-infrastructure-fund.