ACT Government responds to End of Life Choices report


Released 19/07/2019

The ACT Government’s response to the Report of the Select Committee on End of Life Choices was tabled out of session today.

Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith said the Government has agreed or noted each of the 24 recommendations. These recommendations will be implemented as part of substantial work already underway to improve the coordination of end of life and palliative care services in the ACT.

“As our population grows and ages, the demand for palliative care is also increasing. The Government’s ambition is to ensure we deliver more choice for people when it comes to end of life care and that our health services support palliative care with dignity,” Minister Stephen-Smith said.

“Through our End of Life and Palliative Care Project, work is already underway across the health system on many of the Committee’s recommendations.

“The next step is examining the capacity of current services across the health system, and where increased access to services is needed,” Minister Stephen-Smith said.

As the End of Life Choices Report shows, it is imperative that our community understands the importance of end of life care planning.

“A good end of life care plan means people are relieved of pain and suffering and are offered the opportunity to make informed decisions about the end of life care they would like and where this care is provided.”

The Government’s response to the End of Life Choices Report also reiterates a commitment to continued advocacy for end of life choices, including voluntary assisted dying.

“Individuals must have the right to make their own choices at the end of their lives and we will continue to advocate for the ACT community to have the right to determine its own position on voluntary assisted dying.”

The ACT Government spends over $10 million each year to provide palliative care services in the ACT and more recently has provided additional investments in services particularly for home-based palliative care packages and a new paediatric palliative care service.

With the support of The Snow Foundation and Commonwealth Government, $6 million will be invested in Clare Holland House. This funding will deliver more inpatient rooms and better support services for patients.

The 2019-20 ACT Budget allocated $1.7 million to improve palliative and end-of-life care coordination for people living in residential aged care facilities.

“This is about providing a visionary and humane palliative care service—one that provides dignity and respect, but also more information, helping people to make the right choice for them.”

“I thank the Select Committee for their collaborative approach in preparing this report. I’d also like to acknowledge and thank everyone who participated in the inquiry. I look forward to updating the community on the End of Life and Palliative Care Project as implementation progresses.”

- Statement ends -

Section: Rachel Stephen-Smith, MLA | Media Releases

Media Contacts

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Caitlin Cook

(02) 6207 8731

0434 702 827

caitlin.cook@act.gov.au


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