AMA President Dr Omar Khorshid said National Palliative Care Week was an important event as it celebrated professionals and volunteers working in the palliative care sector. Dr Khorshid said all Australians have the right to high-quality palliative care where and when they need it.
"Palliative care supports not only the patient but their family members as well. Palliative care offers vital pain and symptom relief, whether the symptoms are physical, emotional, spiritual or social."
Dr Khorshid said the AMA strongly supports the right of all Australians to access palliative care, but that this requires investment and support.
"High-quality palliative care requires funding, infrastructure, education and training, and most importantly the necessary workforce to ensure patients, their carers and family members, can access palliative care along with respite care, bereavement support, carer's support and other relevant services."
"Currently, demand is increasing for palliative care, but right now too many Australians with life-limiting conditions are missing out."
Dr Khorshid said Australia's entire health system benefits from high-quality palliative care when and where it is needed.
"Palliative care also benefits the wider health system as it reduces demands on emergency departments, ambulance services, hospital stays and ICU admissions."
For more information on National Palliative Care Week, visit the Palliative Care Australia website.
For the AMA’s policy on palliative care, end of life care and advance care planning, see the AMA’s Position Statement on End-of-Life Care and Advance Care Planning.