Calvary Health Care and the Australia New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine have urged the ACT to strengthen palliative care funding before Canberrans can access voluntary euthanasia. Source: Canberra Times.
Calvary Health Care told an inquiry into an assisted dying bill the Government needed to ensure health funding for palliative care was not sidelined when the scheme came into effect.
“Having palliative care well funded and adequate and well supported is very, very important,” Calvary palliative care physician Frank Brennan told the inquiry on Wednesday.
“The worst possible story is where palliative care is sidelined and everyone is focusing on VAD.”
The Australia New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine also fronted the inquiry and similarly urged the Government to ensure there was strong investment in palliative and end-of-life care before euthanasia becomes available.
The society said this included addressing workforce shortages, initiatives to support high-quality palliative care and increased support for carers.
Calvary also expressed concern at what the ACT’s proposed laws could mean for its two private hospitals, Calvary Bruce Private Hospital and John James Hospital.
The proposed bill said health facilities are not allowed to hinder access for those who want to access voluntary assisted dying.
Calvary is concerned it could be forced to allow a health professional to enter one of their hospitals without undergoing the organisation’s credentialing processes.
Ross Hawkins, Calvary’s southern NSW and ACT regional chief executive, said voluntary assisted dying was not a service the organisation would offer meaning an outside health professional would not fall under the credentials for the hospital.
Hearings for the bill will continue until the end of the week.
‘Worst possible story’: Call for strong palliative care funding (By Lucy Bladen, Canberra Times)