A Queensland palliative care helpline will now be available to patients, families and carers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Minister for Health, Cameron Dick will officially launch the new service today at Cancer Council Queensland, which has been funded to provide the helpline over the next three years.
Queensland’s palliative care helpline, now PalAssist, has extended its service hours from the previously offered 9am to 5pm, five days a week.
Mr Dick said the Queensland Government was committed to supporting patients and their families during what could be an extremely difficult time.
“The extended service will provide empathetic and accurate information, referral, advice and psychological support for people with a life limiting or terminal illness or condition and their families and carers,” Mr Dick said.
“Qualified and trained staff will be on hand at all times to take calls.”
Cancer Council Queensland CEO Professor Jeff Dunn AO said PalAssist would meet the needs of all Queenslanders affected by terminal illness.
“Demand for palliative care in Queensland is expected to increase over time with the growth and ageing of the population,” Prof Dunn said.
“PalAssist will be a vital support service to help Queensland families and carers cope with terminal illness.
“The 24 hour service will help to address the many challenges faced by families, forming part of a holistic and multi-disciplinary approach to quality care and support.
“Queenslanders who call can be assured of receiving professional advice and care, helping to overcome the feelings of fear, anxiety, and isolation that people affected by terminal illness commonly experience.
“Our hope is that PalAssist will improve access to palliative care services and raise quality of care at the end of life.”
PalAssist is a free service, now available to Queenslanders 24 hours, seven days a week, on 1800 772 273 or palassist.org.au.
For more information or interviews, please contact:
Katie Clift, Executive Manager, Media and Spokesperson, Cancer Council Queensland
Ph: (07) 3634 5372 or 0409 001 171