Palliative care services aim to improve the quality of life of patients with an active, progressive disease who have little or no prospect of 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.
hospitalisations were palliative care-related in 2014–15, an 19% increase from 2010–11.
public acute hospitals had a hospice care unit
GP encounters were palliative care-related
employed medical specialists are specialist palliative medicine physicians and 1 in every 90 employed nurses are palliative care nurses.
of patients who died as an admitted patient received palliative care
of residential aged care residents were assessed as requiring palliative care
increase in Medicare benefits paid on palliative medicine specialist services from 2011–12 to 2015–16.
prescriptions that were palliative care-related were provided to almost 52,500 patients.
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