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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 833 asked in the Legislative Council on 14 August 2019 by Hon Robin Scott

Minister responding: Hon R.H. Cook
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on 14 August 2019

PALLIATIVE CARE — REGIONAL SERVICES

833. Hon ROBIN SCOTT to the parliamentary secretary representing the Minister for Health:

In May this year, the minister announced a 74 per cent increase in funding for palliative care in the regions.

(1) What was the original dollar value of funding for regional palliative care in the 2018–19 budget, and how much in dollar terms is the WA government now planning to put in?

(2) Aside from the money being put into the care facility in Carnarvon, what other money is being spent on palliative care in the regions?

(3) Will the government address the issue of palliative care funding, or the lack of funding, when it brings on the debate in this chamber for the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill?

Hon ALANNA CLOHESY replied:

I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.

(1) In 2018–19, the WA government committed $6.744 million inclusive for palliative care and cancer care services. In 2019–20, the WA government has committed an additional $5.081 million specifically for regional palliative care services, bringing the total for 2019–20 to $11.977 million.

(2) For the period 2019–23, an additional $30.164 million has been allocated to regional palliative care services to complement existing funding.

(3) The McGowan government recently announced in the 2019–20 budget, an additional funding package of $41 million over four years to support end-of-life choices and palliative care, which includes $5.8 million towards the implementation of the recommendations of the report of the Joint Select Committee on End of Life Choices, $30.164 million on palliative care services in the regions; and an additional $5 million to the Carnarvon aged-care and palliative care facility. This package brings the total investment by the state government for palliative care services over the next four years to $206.2 million.

The work on voluntary assisted dying legislation was undertaken in parallel with ongoing reforms and investment in palliative care, as set out in the ''WA End-of-Life and Palliative Care Strategy 2018–2028'' and recent budget announcements. The minister has convened a palliative care summit on 24 August for health practitioners, stakeholders and the community to explore ways to progress implementation of the strategy and the recommendations of the ''My Life, My Choice'' report to further enhance and support high-quality palliative care services for all Western Australians.