Late-life care limited in region: MP

Toby HusseyAlbany Advertiser
WA Labor MP Sally Talbot.
Camera IconWA Labor MP Sally Talbot. Credit: WA News

A State MP has blamed under-funding of palliative care for the limited services in the Great Southern, claiming that in towns such as Mt Barker residents were without services for up to 160 hours a week.

South West Region MLC Sally Talbot visited Denmark and Mt Barker for the Joint Select Committee on End of Life Choices.

She said she witnessed a “big problem” with palliative services in the region, with some services very limited outside work hours.

“If the patient is out in Mt Barker, their provision of care is seven or eight hours a week,” she said.

“If the patient is in Denmark, they can access (palliative care) but only during business hours from Monday to Friday.

“We clearly need to do a better job at our provision of palliative care for people in places like Denmark and Mt Barker.”

Late-life care could become vital in Australia, with the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare predicting the over-65 population will make up nearly a quarter of the nation in about 50 years.

In towns such as Denmark and Mt Barker, where the number of people over 65 years old is up to 55 per cent higher than the WA average, that group has grown about 20 per cent since 2011.

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