Palliative Care Collaborative Aotearoa calls for urgent action, says end-of-life care 'overlooked and underresourced'

  • 08/08/2022

Palliative Care Collaborative Aotearoa says the Government has "overlooked and underresourced" end-of-life care creating a postcode lottery for Kiwis seeking it. 

Spokesperson Wayne Naylor told AM the collaborative came together to represent Kiwis who need palliative care but live in areas where it is difficult to seek it.

"If you want a dignified and pain-free death in New Zealand it really does depend on where you live, it can depend on your age, it can depend on your ethnicity and it can depend on what you're dying from."

The care is sought when an illness can't be cured and will eventually result in the person dying, it's there to ensure their pain is managed and to help the patient live as comfortably as possible. 

But Naylor said Kiwis who are most likely not to have access to the care and die in pain are those in small towns, rural areas and children where palliative care isn't available. 

"It's not available in a lot of places around the country."

Naylor told AM children outside of Auckland, Hamilton and Christchurch don't have the same care available to them.

"If you live anywhere else in the country there are no services available for children with a palliative care condition."

He said instead families are forced to rely on local medical care that doesn't always have the knowledge of palliative care. 

"Palliative care services are specialists in pain management and also in providing care for the family addressing emotional, social and spiritual needs."

He said if the high-level care isn't available to Kiwis who need it

Naylor and the collaborative are urging the Government to take action to ensure Kiwis across the motu have the same level of palliative care available as those in the main regions. 

"We need the postcode lottery end-of-life care changed now," he said.

"We don't have time to wait."

Watch the full interview above.

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