In 2019, the Mount Gambier & District Health Services Health Advisory Council (MG&DHAC) and Country Health Connect (CHC) held a community forum to inform the community of the palliative care services available for the community, with over 180 people attending.
While highlighting what was available to the community, it also became apparent what was missing. With only one designated - but not exclusive - room at Mount Gambier Hospital, residents often have to spend their final days in a clinical hospital room with little space for family and friends. End-of-life patients are often faced with transfers between hospitals and aged care facilities throughout the Limestone Coast, which creates distress for the patient, their family and creates extra burden on our local hospital emergency departments and staff.
I am calling on the State Government to recognise the need for varied end-of-life care in regional areas and investigate the potential for a dedicated palliative care facility to be based in Mount Gambier. Too often in regional areas, we lack access to the same services of our metropolitan counterparts. I strongly believe those who have been given a terminal diagnosis deserve the dignity of choice on where to spend their final days.
Read more on my work on Palliative care in State Parliament, including my motion in favour of a dedicated hospice for Mount Gambier, and question about palliative care services.