Legislative Council: Wednesday, May 17, 2023


Mount Gambier In Home Hospice Care

The Hon. B.R. HOOD (15:14): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before addressing a question to the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development regarding palliative care in the South-East.

Leave granted.

The Hon. B.R. HOOD: There is certainly no certainty for the future of Mount Gambier In Home Hospice Care after its annual funding runs out at the end of this month. Were it not for a life-saving Hospital Research Foundation grant, they would be unable to continue their operations beyond the end of the year. In Home Hospice Care is a free 24/7 service run by amazing volunteers that goes above and beyond the current SA Health palliative care services in the South-East that only operate from Monday to Friday, nine to five.

Rather than extending their funding, it is reported that the health minister has instead allocated one half full-time equivalent to support the Country Health Connect team. My questions to the minister are:

1. As Minister for Regional Development and a South-East local, has the minister discussed the matter with the health minister?

2. Has the minister received feedback from South-East constituents about concerns over the lack of palliative care services in the region?

3. Can the minister advise whether the 0.5 FTE will provide palliative care services to patients or, instead, provide administrative support to the Country Health Connect palliative care team?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (15:16): I thank the honourable member for his question. If I recall correctly, this is a service that the former Liberal government failed to put in long-term funding for, but in terms of any more recent updates, I am happy to refer those to the Minister for Health and Wellbeing in the other place and bring back an answer for the honourable member.