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Coordinated Approach To Palliative Care

Care for people who are dying will be the focus of a project by the Ministry of
Health, the Health Funding Authority and the National Health Committee, Health
Minister Wyatt Creech said today.

The work will be done in consultation with Hospice New Zealand and other
palliative care providers.

"Many of us interpret health care as being about making people better, or
helping them to remain well. That has certainly been a major focus in much of
the work we have undertaken in the last few years," Mr Creech said.

"But just as there have been advances in health care which enable us to treat
and cure people more effectively than in the past, there are also new approaches
to caring for people who are dying which can ease the way for them and for their
families and whanau.

"Hospice and palliative care services are funded and provided by a range of
providers including hospices, community palliative care services and Hospital
and Health Services. These services are supported by voluntary agencies, Cancer
Society, Disability Support services and a range of community based services.

"Just as services vary, so does agreement on when treatment ends and palliative
care begins," Mr Creech said. "I have asked the main health agencies to look at
these and other issues as a prelude to developing a strategy which ensures all
New Zealanders have access to quality palliative care services when and where
they need them."

The agencies will build on the work already started by a National Health
Committee working group. They will also build on work started by the Health
Funding Authority and Hospice New Zealand.

Those with an interest in palliative care will be invited to consult on the
draft strategy early next year.


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