A dire lack of palliative care services is one of the key issues Queensland Parliament’s aged-care inquiry has heard at public hearings across the state, the Catholic Leader reports.
The inquiry is examining the adequacy of Queensland’s end-of-life care including palliative care, and is looking into support for laws to allow voluntary assisted suicide.
Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge will present a submission to the inquiry in Brisbane on August 23.
“Every human person is intrinsically valuable, endowed with an inviolable dignity and a gift to us all,” Archbishop Coleridge wrote in The Catholic Leader earlier this year.
In May, 18 specialist doctors told the Queensland inquiry that many terminally ill patients were dying before they received access to palliative care.
“There are regional, rural and remote communities with no direct access to specialist palliative care,” the Queensland Specialist Palliative Care Services Directors’ Group told the inquiry.
The doctors’ submission detailed a “postcode lottery” that determined what home equipment dying people could access, depending on which hospital and health service they fell under.
The Queensland charity and state peak body for palliative care Palliative Care Queensland said quantifying palliative care was difficult because quality palliative care should be available to anyone with a terminal illness – this included babies to the elderly, and people who died from a variety of causes including cancer, cardiac conditions, dementia, motor neurone disease and many other causes.
It also includes both specialist and generalist palliative care.
Church leaders urge more resourcing to aged care and palliative care at public hearings across state (Catholic Leader)