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Support And Care For Terminally Ill People

New Health Ministry Plan Will Give Terminally Ill People Support And Care

People dying from terminal illness will get care and support under a comprehensive plan being introduced by the Health Ministry.

Health Ministry senior advisor, Laura Lambie, says "palliative care is for people who are dying from cancer and a range of other diseases such as chronic obstructive disease and neurone disease.

"Sadly, these people are suffering from conditions that are not responsive to curative treatment. Good quality palliative care enhances their quality of life while they are dying, and supports their families.

"Most people needing palliative care have cancer and are in the over 60 age group. About 84 percent of these people with cancer will need palliative care for the pain they experience. Each year about 5000 terminally ill New Zealanders will be cared for by a hospice and more will be cared for by other services, for example, primary care and hospital services.

"The New Zealand Palliative Care Strategy aims to introduce consistent access and quality levels for palliative care services, reduce duplication of services, and increase co-ordination of services. It has also introduced extra funding of $7.5 million a year for palliative care services.

"Nine strategies have been developed to ensure that quality care services based on need are available. We ran a consultation process and had a lot of support from an advisory group, professionals working in the sector, from Hospice New Zealand and from patients themselves."

In implemementing the strategy "The Ministry's aim is to introduce a palliative care culture among providers, ensure there are good linkages between providers, and make sure people are aware of palliative care services within their community. District Health Boards will continue this work as a requirement of the Funding Agreement between the Minister of Health and each DHB."

The New Zealand Palliative Care Strategy is available on the Ministry of Health website:

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