Petition for better palliative care services gains support in St George

Petition: Cancer Council NSW volunteers were out in force at Carss Bush Park, late last month, getting support for the I Care for Palliative Care campaign. Picture: Supplied
Petition: Cancer Council NSW volunteers were out in force at Carss Bush Park, late last month, getting support for the I Care for Palliative Care campaign. Picture: Supplied

Cancer Council NSW has collected hundreds of pledges in St George, as the organisation protests what they believe to be a lack of funding in palliative care services.

Cancer Council NSW’s I Care for Palliative Care campaign secured nearly 400 pledges at the Carss Park Australia Day celebrations last month.

The campaign is urging the NSW Government to increase the number of palliative care doctors and nurses, and prioritise palliative care for Aboriginal people across the state.

The campaign is looking to get 10,000 pledges and is currently over 4000.

However, NSW Health say they are already investing more than $86 million in specialist palliative care services every year. 

NSW Health also said they were increasing funding to “enhance the existing services”, but did not say by how much.

In a release sent to the Leader, NSW Health said they would provide an additional 39.5 palliative care clinical nurse educator and clinical nurse specialist positions across NSW, among other positions.

Cancer Council NSW is asking for more to be done.

The organisation is calling on NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard to end the shortage of palliative care by funding 10 additional specialist palliative doctors, at a minimum; 129 palliative care nurses; and culturally appropriate palliative care for Aboriginal people.

Currently, there are not enough palliative care doctors and nurses to meet the needs of the NSW community, according to Cancer Council NSW.

“We are so pleased that so many locals who attended the Australia Day celebrations are supporting I Care for Palliative Care,” Alan Gill, advocate and volunteer at Cancer Council NSW, said.

“We need more palliative care doctors and nurses in NSW as soon as possible, and it is great to know we have the backing of the St George community in our asks.”

Community members can support the I Care for Palliative Care campaign by signing the petition to end the palliative care shortage here.