Deeble Institute workshop asks how we can improve end of life care

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The conversation around better end of life care is gaining momentum in Australia and today the Deeble Institute for Health Policy Research is bringing together researchers, practitioners, policy makers and consumers to discuss how the health system should respond to the growing evidence that many Australians want to spend the last part of their lives at home, but can't.

“The discussion today will focus on how primary health networks, hospitals, palliative care and other health providers can work together to adapt services to cope with the increased demand for home based services. The output from the day will contribute to a future Issues Brief on the topic,” Deeble Institute Director Susan Killion said.

Guests include keynote speakers Professor Hal Swerissen from the Grattan Institute, and Dr Ranjana Srivastava from Monash Health medical oncologist and author. Professor Swerissen’s keynote speech, Dying Well, will discuss where people die, what they die of and why they don’t die well. It will review the factors that exacerbate poor quality deaths and what policy changes are needed to improve the quality of dying.

Dr Srivastava’s writing has been published worldwide, including in Time magazine and The Week, and in medical journals The New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, Journal of the American Medical Association and Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care Management. In 2008 her story ‘Ode to a Patient’ won the Cancer Council Victoria Arts Award for outstanding writing.

“We are pleased to welcome all our panellists, guests and speakers to the workshop and in particular thank our keynote speakers for sharing their perspective,” Ms Killion said.

“End of life care is evolving into a contentious policy issue in Australia. Factors such as our ageing population, rising rates of chronic disease, and innovations in life-extending medical technology, make it more important than ever to discuss what constitutes a good death and how the health sector can help all Australians access the best end of life care possible.”

The workshop will build on the seminar held by the Deeble Institute in Sydney last November, International Perspectives on End of Life Care, which examined the results of the International Hospitals Federation survey. That survey provided a perspective on end of life care in University hospitals and compared practices internationally. 

Find more information on the End of Life Care workshop here.

Media enquiries:
Alison Verhoeven
Chief Executive, The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association
0403 282 501