Monday 5 November 2018
For Labor, palliative care is all about politics
Labor’s funding for palliative care demonstrates they treat this vital policy area as a political tool and not the life and death policy area it is.
Last year, Labor refused to fund an increase in palliative care until required to in order to get their Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill through the Parliament.
Today, in the Pre-Election Budget Update, it has become evident that Labor has provided just a single year of palliative care funding to respond to growing demand, target emerging gaps, expanding medical coverage and open beds.
|Table A.9:||Output initiatives – Department of Health and Human Services||($ million)|
|End of Life Care Palliative Care Funding Review (a)||23.4||..||..||..|
Without ongoing funding it is impossible to recruit new doctors and nurses to respond to demand, fill service gaps and open new beds. A single year of funding also undermines a service’s ability to plan for the future and is a clear path to ensuring health services are unable to sustainably deliver palliative care into the future.
This is a reckless, political, short-term commitment to a sector that has been chronically underfunded by Labor.
It is clear that Daniel Andrews and Labor have no intention of giving Victorians a genuine choice at the end of their life.
Without the Liberal Nationals $140 million commitment to massively expand community based palliative care services, thousands of Victorians will continue to miss out on palliative care under a future Labor government.
Palliative Care Victoria estimates that 10,000 Victorians miss out on palliative care every year.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Health, Mary Wooldridge:
Victorians can have genuine choice at the end of their life under the Liberal Nationals or a Labor government who prioritises euthanasia over palliative care.
Daniel Andrews has shown once again that for him nothing is beyond politics and he prefers to use palliative care policy as a negotiating tool and political fix rather than funding the services desperately needed by dying Victorians and their families.
 2018 Pre-Election Budget Update, Department of Treasury and Finance, p. 82.