Planning to improve South Australia's future health services

06 August, 2009

Three new plans to improve health services for older South Australians, those affected by stroke and people receiving palliative care have been published.

The SA Stroke Service Plan, Health Service Framework for Older People and Palliative Care Services Plan continue the reforms that began with the release of the SA Health Care Plan in 2007.

Welcoming the new plans, Minister Hill said: "Health services have to be planned to take into account what people are likely to need and where they’ll need them.

"We’re looking ahead to make sure older people will have access to the best possible care and that we’re ready for an increase in demand for help with two of the big issues many people will have to face – strokes and terminal illness."

Chief Medical Officer and Chair of the SA Clinical Senate, Professor Paddy Phillips, said the plans provide more services and better choice for South Australians.

"As South Australia’s population grows older, these plans will help us to provide better outcomes for people who’ve had a stroke, as well as more services for older people and more choices for people who need end-of-life care.

"This includes helping people to manage their conditions themselves as much as they can and, where possible, helping them stay out of hospital and cared for in their own home."

The Palliative Care Services Plan 2009-1016 outlines a system-wide redesign of palliative care service, incorporating both national and international models of best practice.

The plan includes:

• Developing Repatriation General, Modbury and The Queen Elizabeth Hospitals as specialist centres of excellence for palliative care with regional teams based in each of these sites

• Increasing the overall time palliative care patients receive care at home rather than in a medical facility

• Increasing the palliative care capacity of Country General Hospitals.

Dr Peter Chapman, Chair of the State-wide Palliative Care Clinical Network Steering Committee, said meeting the emotional, social and spiritual needs of a patient nearing the end of life is as important as addressing their physical symptoms.