Orange is still without a palliative care facility despite promises from the state government and the Western NSW Local Health District.
Orange Push for Palliative Care chair Jenny Hazelton has accused the NSW government of playing politics in delaying announcing the start of providing palliative care in Orange.
The state election is on March 23.
“The Local Health District told us in November and December they’d have an answer for us before Christmas,” she said.
“We are concerned the issue is becoming a political football.”
Mrs Hazelton said they had been told the successful tenderer to provide a pilot palliative care program in Orange would be announced in mid-January which had not happened.
She said it appeared an announcement would be made in February.
“That is not good enough,” she said.
They shouldn't be holding out because of politics.Jenny Hazelton, Orange Push for Palliative Care
“Our community is being disadvantaged. They shouldn’t be holding out because of politics. It is beyond politics,” she said.
“It has been months and months. We have been talking about this option since September 2017.”
Mrs Hazelton said she was aware of several people who needed palliative care over summer.
“Some have died. I know of one family whose father died in an outlying area who really didn’t have the pain relief. The family was very distressed,” she said.
WNSWLHD executive director Allied Health and Innovation Richard Cheney said he expected the palliative care trial would begin operating before the end of March.
“The signing of the deed of agreement is subject to ensuring all the appropriate checks and balances are in place to provide the best environment possible,” he said.
Mr Cheney said they wanted the “appropriate clinical standards in place” to ensure the pilot program had the best chances for success.
“The deed is still being finalised and an announcement will be made as soon as possible to ensure the trial is able to commence admitting patients by the end of the first quarter [in 2019],” he said.
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