Health Minister Jonathan Coleman today launched the Adult Palliative Care Services in New Zealand – Review and Action Plan at Hospice North Shore, Auckland.
“Palliative care is a priority for the Government. We’re committed to ensuring New Zealanders can access palliative care services when they need them and in the settings they prefer,” says Dr Coleman.
“When factoring in our growing and ageing population recently published research predicted that over the next 20 years the number of people needing palliative care will increase 51 per cent, from 24,680 in 2016 to more than 37,000 in 2038.
“The review, undertaken by the Ministry of Health, in consultation with a Palliative Care Advisory Panel, focuses on improving services over the next three to five years, while taking into account the expected demand for those services over the next 10 to 20 years.”
This review presents a refreshed strategic direction for palliative care and proposes five priority areas. This includes improving the variety and quality of services and adopting a more patient-centred model of care.
“A major focus will be responding to feedback from people receiving palliative care and their families,” says Dr Coleman.
“There will also be an increased emphasis on primary palliative care being provided by all health care professionals caring for a person, with the support of palliative care specialists.
“The Action Plan supports the review and provides a roadmap. It is the result of consumer and sector feedback, with a focus on the individual’s holistic care.
“One of the first actions will be developing a framework for collecting patients and their families’ experiences of adult palliative care to understand what is working well and identify opportunities for improvement.
“Workshops will be held for health and consumer representatives to ensure greater collaboration between services and better co-ordinated care for patients.”
In Budget 2015 the Government invested $76.1 million into hospice services. That included $24.1 million to support the delivery of new palliative care services in aged residential care, primary care and other community settings.
The Review of Adult Palliative Care and the Palliative Care Action Plan are available on the Ministry of Health website, www.health.govt.nz