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The goal of palliative care is to improve the quality of life of patients with an active, progressive disease that has little or no prospect of a cure. With the growth and ageing of Australia's population, and an increase of chronic and generally incurable illnesses, the types of patient groups requiring palliative care has widened.

Palliative care is delivered in almost all settings where health care is provided, including neonatal units, paediatric services, acute hospitals, general practices, community settings (such as people's own homes) and residential aged care services. Specialist services operate from a variety of settings, including inpatient, hospice and community based services. See overview for further information.


65,000 hospitalisations were palliative care-related in 2014-15

65,000 hospitalisations

were palliative care-related in 2014–15, a 19% increase from
2010–11.


Nearly half (46%) of patients who died recieved palliative care

Nearly half (46%)

of patients who died as an admitted patient received palliative care.


4% of residential aged care residents required palliative care

4% of residential aged care residents

were assessed as requiring palliative care.


1 in 1,000 GP encounters were palliative care-related

1 in 1,000 GP encounters

were palliative care-related (BEACH data).


1 in 6 public acute hospitals had a hospice care unit

1 in 6 public acute hospitals

had a hospice care unit.


57%57% increase in Medicare benefits paid palliative medicine specialist services overtime increase in Medicare benefits

paid on palliative medicine specialist services from 2011–12 to 2015–16.


83,000 prescriptions were palliative care-related that were provided to almost 52,500 patients

83,000 prescriptions

that were palliative care-related were provided to almost 52,500 patients.


7 in every 1,000 employed medical specialists are palliative medicine physicians and 1 in 90 employed nurses are palliative care nurses

7 in every 1,000 employed medical specialists

are specialist palliative medicine physicians and 1 in every 90 employed nurses are palliative care nurses.


74% of palliative care outcomes collaboration services met benchmark 1

74% of Palliative Care Outcomes Collaboration services

met Benchmark 1, where 90% of patient episodes commenced palliative care within a day of being ready for care (Palliative Care Outcomes)