The Australian Government's National Palliative Care Program

The National Palliative Care Program aims to improve access to and quality of palliative care.

Page last updated: 29 September 2009

The program has three sources of funding:

    • Palliative Care in the Community – to improve the standard of palliative care in the community;
    • Palliative Care National - $14 million over four years; and
    • Strengthening Palliative Care Services (Local Palliative Care Grants) –to help health-related services provide better support to people needing palliative care, and their families.
    • In addition, the Australian Government has provided $500 million to States and Territories for the enhancement of sub-acute care services (including palliative care) under the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) significant National Partnership Agreement on Hospital and Health Workforce Reform.

The program offers support in four broad areas:

    • support for patients, families and carers in the community;
    • increased access to palliative care medicines in the community;
    • education, training and support for the workforce; and
  • research and quality improvement for palliative care services.

Projects funded within these program areas include:

1. Support for patients, families and carers in the community

    • grants to local groups, health and aged care providers and church and charitable organisations to support patients and their families receiving palliative care.

2. Increased access to palliative care medicines in the community

  • the Palliative Care Clinical Studies Collaborative (PACCSC) manages multi-site clinical drug trials in order to gather the scientific evidence required to register palliative care medicines on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods and possible listings on the PBS.

3. Education, training and support for the workforce

    • the Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach (PEPA) is a work placement training program for health professionals in a specialist palliative care service of their choice.

4. Research and quality improvement for palliative care services

    • A consortium of four universities forms the Australian Palliative Care Outcomes Collaboration (PCOC). PCOC supports services to consistently compare and measure the quality of their outcomes, and through this ensure continued quality improvement.
    • The Palliative Care Research Program, managed by the National Health and Medical Research Council, aims to improve the quality of palliative care, inform policy development, improve clinical practice and develop researcher capacity, by funding priority driven research grants, training awards and research development grants.
  • The Palliative Care Knowledge Network (CareSearch) is a web-based one stop shop of information and practical resources for clinicians, other health care professionals providing palliative care, researchers, patients and carers.
To find out more, go to the Palliative Care page on the Department's website, or email the Palliative Care Section.
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