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Additional funding for palliative care

Hon Pete Hodgson
Minister of Health

20 December 2006 Media Statement

Additional funding for palliative care

An addition $4.7 million (GST inclusive) to address cost pressures for hospices and further develop palliative care services was announced by Minister of Health Pete Hodgson today.

In 2005, an additional $5.9 million (GST inclusive) was allocated to help address an identified funding shortfall for hospices. However, demand for palliative care services continues to grow, and there are acknowledged workforce issues in palliative care. The funding will help address these issues and improve co-ordination of services.

Improving access to palliative care is a key objective of the Cancer Control Action Plan, which is being jointly implemented by DHBs, the Ministry of Health, and non-governmental organisations.

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Background:

The New Zealand Palliative Care Strategy was released in 2001. The Cancer Control Strategy was published in 2003, followed by Action Plan 2005-10. One of the six goals of the Action Plan is to “improve the quality of life for those with cancer, their family and whanau through support, rehabilitation and palliative care”.

District Health Boards, the Ministry of Health, and non-governmental organisations have been working together to implement the Cancer Control Action Plan and Palliative Care Strategy.

Palliative care is required for a range of conditions other than cancer. At present, approximately 90 percent of palliative care services are provided to cancer patients.

Palliative care services may be delivered by a range of providers, including acute care hospitals, residential care services, and primary care services, as well as by hospices. The expressed preference of the majority of dying patients is to be cared for in their home.


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