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Price calls for palliative care funding.

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Media Release


Federal Member for Chifley

PO Box 259 Mt Druirt NSW 2770






Roger Price MP, Federal Member for Chifley, has called for stable and increased funding for palliative care from the Federal Government.


Mr Price expressed the importance of palliative care services in his speech in the House Of Representatives (Private Members Business) yesterday.


"The focus of Palliative care is neither to hasten nor Postpone death. It provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms and integrates the psychological and spiritual aspects of care. Furthermore, it offers a support system to help relatives and friends cope during the patients illness, and bereavement”, said Mr Price.


“One of the many good things the Labor Government did was to announce in 1993-94 a four-year program to provide palliative care costing some $55 million. Of course, in 1998 that agreement has run out, and it is disturbing to hear the Government claim that it is providing new palliative care money when in reality it should be counted as part of an ongoing program".


“The Federal Government are still negotiating the new Medicare Agreements with the States, and further funding for palliative care is dependant on the outcome of the negotiations. The longer the talks 90 on the longer important funds are not allocated to areas of need”.


“It is extremely important that funding for palliative care is increased and maintained at a stable level", said Mr Price.


Mr Price also commended the NSW Carr Labor Govemment for opening a palliative care unit in the grounds of Mt Druitt Hospital.


"There was no more pleasing thing for me to see, just before this two-week session of Parliament started, than the opening of the Reverend Sister Christina Harcombe Palliative Care Unit”, said Mr Price.


"The unit that has been opened provides 16 palliative care beds, The idea is to provide choice for families and choice for the patient. It will be not only the centre, if you like, of the acute delivery of care but also a 24-hour support system, including community nursing care, with access to allied health professionals so that the patients can be supported not only in the unit but more particularly at home".


'Reverend Sister Christina Harcombe was someone known to me. She was the religious co-ordinator at the hospital for many years, I am very pleased that her particular contribution to Mount Druitt Hospital has been recognised in this way”, concluded Mr Price.




Media Contact: Michael Galderisi   Phone.  9625 4344



Dated : 30 June 1998  Fax: 9832 2641