Western Australians requiring palliative care and end-of-life support will benefit from an additional $16.3 million that will strengthen end of life care and support implementation of the Voluntary Assisted Dying legislation.
The projects were developed in response to recommendations made by the Joint Select Committee Report on End of Life Choices, My Life, My Choice, and follow on from commitments already made. New investments include:
- $5.7 million for greater palliative care support for residential aged care facilities
- $2.4 million dedicated to Advance Health Directives education and development of a central register as well as increased community awareness of palliative care and the establishment of a hotline service.
- $3.7 million to strengthen end of life care
- $2.6 million to support implementation and continued operation of voluntary assisted dying
- $1.9 million for five northern suburbs palliative care beds
Whilst a tender is underway for 10 additional inpatient palliative care beds in the northern suburbs at a cost of approximately $9 million, $1.9 million has been allocated for five interim dedicated palliative care beds recently opened at the northern Joondalup Health Campus to meet the immediate need.
WA Deputy Premier and health minister Roger Cook said in a statement, ‘The McGowan Government is committed to ensuring that all Western Australians are well informed about their options and have access to the very best of care as they near the end of life and have greater options as to where they can comfortably see out their days’.
“This major funding injection supports these aims and also progresses our landmark Voluntary Assisted Dying legislation”, he said.
WA passed the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act on December 10, 2019, which enables voluntary assisted dying to become a choice available to people from mid-2021, allowing for an 18-month implementation period.
Under the Act some adults can ask for medical help to end their life if they have a disease or illness that is so severe to cause death and suffering.