The Liberal National Government will provide $7 million for a new palliative care facility that will give terminally ill people on the Fraser Coast, an alternative choice on where they wish to spend their final days.
Minister for Health, Greg Hunt said the funding caters for a purpose built facility and three years operational funding.
“The Fraser Coast is one the fastest developing urban communities in Australia, the importance of seeing this type of service established within the Hervey Bay region demonstrates the Government is stepping in to meet that need,” Minister Hunt said.
“Not only will the hospice provide employment opportunities, partnerships with the local education sector will mean many allied health, nursing or personal carer students can do placements at the hospice.”
“I congratulate Fraser Coast Hospice Association for its work in identifying the value of this facility and Keith Pitt for his strong advocacy which secured this funding,” Minister Hunt said.
The new hospice will provide a 24-hour home-like setting where the patient’s needs are met by professional staff, and it will be an alternative for families struggling at home or confronted by a hospital setting.
Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said he had been trying to address the lack of palliative care facilities in the region for a number of years.
“This announcement is a great outcome for the people Hinkler, and will help to support those entering their final stages, but also to help family and loved ones through this journey,” Mr Pitt said.
“The special care needs required for a terminal patient can be complicated and often not available at home, which results in people ending up in hospital.”
“This is an extremely difficult time for a patient and their family to go through and currently the options for terminal patients are staying at home for their final days, or at a nursing home or in hospital.
“While a large percentage would prefer to die at home with their family, only a small number achieve this,” Mr Pitt said.
The Government’s strong economic management ensures the continued record investment into vital health initiatives including mental health, life-saving medicines, Medicare and hospitals.