Hundreds of regional and rural frontline health staff will be able to upskill and deliver palliative care services to local communities
Hundreds of regional and rural frontline health staff will be able to upskill and deliver palliative care services to local communities Thinkstock

$100 million palliative care package for regional NSW

RURAL and regional health staff are being urged to apply for scholarships to enhance palliative care skills.

The NSW Government's $100 million palliative care package means specialist palliative care will be locally accessible to residents of the Northern Rivers.

$900,000 has been dedicated to palliative care training for 300 nurses and allied health staff and $300,000 has been dedicated for scholarships for rural and regional staff to enhance their palliative care skills.

The Minister for Health, Brad Hazzard and Parliamentary Secretary for Rural and Regional Health, Leslie Williams outlined the new budget measures which will enable hundreds of regional and rural frontline health staff able to upskill and deliver palliative care services to their local communities.

"We are tackling the need for specialist training through training nurses and allied health frontline workers who currently work in our rural and regional communities, and also boosting funding for additional specialist doctors and nurses for new positions in regional health districts,” Mr Hazzard said.

Mrs Williams said the new scholarships and also funding for staff to undertake training would make a difference to more people wanting to access specialist palliative care expertise locally.

"We are asking nurses and other allied health staff to come forward and apply for the scholarships and the training. This is a win for professional development of our health workforce and a huge win for local communities,” Mrs Williams said.

The NSW Government will invest the additional $100 million over the next four years for palliative care services, including $17.4 million in the 2017-18 Budget.

The 2017-18 State Budget will also include:

- An additional six palliative care specialists in rural and regional areas ($2.4 million)

- Two specialist positions to provide relief to other specialists in rural and regional areas ($795,000)

- An additional 30 palliative care nurses providing care in hospitals, homes and nursing homes ($5 million)

- Developing and implementing comprehensive and integrated palliative care services, in line with community expectations and needs ($1 million)

- Improving medication management for palliative care patients through community pharmacy initiatives ($200,000).


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