Government palliative care policies and programs
We welcome your feedback on this website, including enhancements you’d like us to consider. Email your feedback to or use our website feedback form. Thanks!
Victorian Government palliative care overview
The palliative care initiatives of the Victorian Government are outlined on the website of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) are outlined using the following headings:
- Victoria’s end of life and palliative care framework
- Accessing care
- Information for people, families and carers
- Paediatric palliative care
- Aboriginal Palliative Care Program
- Statewide services
- Education and training
- Clinical network
- Palliative care consortia
- Funding and data
Victorian Government end of life and palliative care framework
The Victorian Government’s end of life and palliative care framework is a 37 page document released in 2016. The framework’s introduction notes that it “emphasises a person-centred approach for delivering care according to people’s preferences and goals. It focuses on understanding what matters to people who are dying and their families. It outlines plans to redesign our services to be effective, with a focus on delivering care being everybody’s responsibility in the healthcare system as part of an integrated service”.
The framework outlines five priorities:
- Delivering person-centred services
- Engaging communities, embracing diversity
- Coordinating and integrating services
- Making quality end of life and palliative care everyone’s responsibility
- Strengthening specialist palliative care
Better Health Channel pages on end of life and palliative care services
Better Health Channel is a Victorian Government website that aims to help people understand and manage their health and medical conditions. The end of life and palliative care section of Better Health Channel includes a range of information on topics such as ‘end of life and palliative care explained’ and ‘practical care to assist family and carers’.
Advance Care Planning
The Victorian Government’s approach to advance care planning is summarised on the website of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) using the following headings:
- Best practice in advance care planning
- Initiating advance care planning
- Advisory group
- Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016
Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill Discussion paper (January 2017)
In line with the proposed voluntary assisted dying framework recommended by the Victorian Legal and Social Issues (Parliamentary) Committee Inquiry into end of life choices, the Victorian Government committed to introduce legislation into parliament in 2017 to legalise voluntary assisted dying for terminally ill people in Victoria.
To support this work, the government established an Expert Ministerial Advisory Panel (the Panel) made up of clinical, legal and consumer experts, to “build on the findings and recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee Inquiry by seeking considered and expert advice on the details associated with developing and implementing a legislative framework for voluntary assisted dying”.
As part of the consultation process, in January 2017 the panel released a ‘Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill Discussion paper’. The 25 page paper summarises a series of key issues and lists a number of ‘Questions to consider’.
Legal and Social Issues (Parliamentary) Committee Inquiry into end of life choices, including Victorian Government response
Following the June 2016 publication of the final report of the Victorian Legal and Social Issues (Parliamentary) Committee Inquiry into end of life choices, the Victorian Government submitted a formal response to the Committee Inquiry in December 2016.
The Inquiry made 49 recommendations, under the following headings:
- Towards a community based approach to palliative care (Recommendations 1-29)
- Improving advance care planning (Recommendations 30-48)
- Legalising assisted dying (Recommendation 49)
A summary of the key messages of the government’s response to all 49 recommendations can be found on the website of the Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services. This page also provides a link to the full 17 page Victorian Government response to the Committee Inquiry published on the Committee Inquiry pages of the Parliament of Victoria website.
Services Quickguide links to Australian Government funded palliative care initiatives
Details of palliative care initiatives funded by the Australian Government are included in the Australian Government initiatives section of the Services Quickguide on this website.
Australian Government Department of Health website section on palliative care
The Australian Government Department of Health website includes details about the 2010 National Palliative Care Strategy and projects funded under the National Palliative Care Program.
National Palliative Care Strategy 2010 – Supporting Australians to Live Well at the End of Life
The Australian Government Department of Health website describes the ‘National Palliative Care Strategy 2010 – Supporting Australians to Live Well at the End of Life’ (the Strategy) as representing “the combined commitments of the Australian, state and territory governments, palliative care service providers and community based organisations to the development and implementation of palliative care policies, strategies and services that are consistent across Australia”.
The Strategy included four goal areas:
Awareness and Understanding
- To significantly improve the appreciation of dying and death as a normal part of the life continuum.
- To enhance community and professional awareness of the scope of, and benefits of timely and appropriate access to palliative care services.
Appropriateness and Effectiveness
- Appropriate and effective palliative care is available to all Australians based on need.
Leadership and Governance
- To support the collaborative, proactive, effective governance of national palliative care strategies, resources and approaches.
Capacity and Capability
- To build and enhance the capacity of all relevant sectors in health and human services to provide quality palliative care.
An evaluation of the Strategy commenced in March 2016 and was finalised in October 2016. Both the strategy and the review can be accessed from the palliative care page of the Australian Government Department of Health.
ACT Government palliative care policies and programs
NSW Government palliative care policies and programs
NT Government palliative care policies and programs
Queensland Government palliative care policies and programs
SA Government palliative care policies and programs
Tasmanian Government palliative care policies and programs
WA Government palliative care policies and programs