Page MP Janelle Saffin.
Page MP Janelle Saffin.

MP to host pallliative care forum

FEDERAL Page MP Janelle Saffin has joined forces with the newly-established North Coast NSW Medicare Local to host a Regional Palliative Care Forum at Treelands Drive Community Centre, Yamba, on Monday, May 14.

Ms Saffin is encouraging palliative care service providers, clinicians, allied health professionals, academics, clients and carers to register for this important half-day forum in the lead up to National Palliative Care Week, to be held from May 20-26.

Ms Saffin said the idea for a forum grew out of conversations she had had with Clarence Valley Palliative Care Volunteer Support Service Chair Bill Dougherty OAM, of Grafton, and GP Andrew Binns, who has a special interest in palliative care services for our region.

"While I've seen some of the very good work being done in palliative care, particularly by community nurses with the support of some wonderful volunteers, there is something of a local health service gap around palliative care because it is often treated as a separate area," she said.

"I approached Vahid Saberi, the newly appointed chief executive officer of the North Coast NSW Medicare Local, who agreed that we need to start a local conversation about developing a more coordinated, integrated approach to quality care at the end of life.

"The forum will provide an overview of how palliative care is currently delivered outside the hospital setting and in local hospitals, cover any issues of concern and look at practical solutions, including the issue of more funding for coordinating volunteer support groups.

"Our Medicare Local will have a key role in connecting and consolidating primary health care services from Tweed Heads to Port Macquarie, and one of its main aims is to make it easier for residents to navigate the health care system so they can access the right treatment in the right place at the right time."

To register for the forum, which runs from 10.30am until 2.30pm, contact Janelle Saffin's Lismore Electorate Office on 02 6621 9909 during business hours.

National Palliative Care Week 2012 - with the theme 'Some things are too important to be left unsaid … Let's chat about dying' -- will be launched in Federal Parliament on Tuesday, May 22.

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