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$76.1m more for palliative care and hospices

$76.1m more for palliative care and hospices

An extra $76.1 million will be invested over four years to provide more hospice and palliative care services for New Zealanders, Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says.

“Hospices make a huge difference to people's lives by ensuring terminally ill people are as free from pain and suffering as possible. They also provide valuable care and support for families and friends,” he says.

“As New Zealand’s population grows and ages, the demand for palliative care continues to increase.

“In 2013, more than 15,000 people received care and support from hospice services throughout New Zealand, and hospice staff made over 145,000 home visits. Just over 20 per cent of people using hospice services were aged under 60 and three-quarters had a cancer-related disease.”

The Government announced the additional investment over four years to support hospices during the election campaign last year.

From 1 July 2015, $13 million is being allocated each year to help hospices expand their community palliative care services so they can better support terminally ill people at home and in aged-care facilities.

An additional $3.1 million in 2015/16, rising to $7 million from 2016/17, will support the recruitment of 60 new nurse specialists, palliative care educators and other roles at hospices.

“These nurses will provide a crucial role - helping to train, mentor and support staff across aged residential care, GP practices and home-based support services,” Dr Coleman says.

“This is part of the Government’s commitment to delivering high quality services closer to home.”

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