Six more palliative care nurses will assigned to Western NSW Local Health District hospitals under a government election pledge.
They are part of a total of 100 extra nurses to be provided to NSW hospitals as part of a $45 million investment in palliative care announced by the government ahead of the March 23 state election.
Nationals candidate for Orange Kate Hazelton said it was on top of a $100 million packed announced as part of the 2017-18 state budget which was providing increased palliative care in NSW.
That includes Orange's trial four-bed palliative care facility to be provided at Uniting Parkwood, on Prince Street, which was announced on January 31.
It is important [for Orange] because our population is ageing and we do need it.Kate Hazelton, Nationals candidate for Orange
Mrs Hazelton said it would be up to the WNSWLHD to assign the nurses to hospitals and facilities in the region.
"They could be sent out to [patients'] homes, they could be part of the new facility [at Uniting Parkwood]," she said.
"We are doing everything we can to ensure patients and their loved ones have access to the best quality palliative care at the best possible care facilities.
"It is important [for Orange] because our population is ageing and we do need it."
Member for Orange Phil Donato accused the government of "rehashing an old announcement" as extra palliative care nurses had been allocated previously.
"Not surprisingly, four weeks out from an election. They are trying to get some credit out of it," he said.
However, Mrs Hazelton said on Thursday this was extra funding for more nurses.
Country Labor candidate for Orange Luke Sanger said Orange needed a full-time facility with more beds than what was available in the trial.
Orange Push for Palliative Care chair Jenny Hazelton welcomed the news however, she said she was concerned it would not be enough to meet the growing demand.
"We would welcome any increase in the number of palliative care nursing staff," she said.
"Unfortunately it's a very busy industry. It's a growing area of health."
She said she understood work was continuing on preparing the Uniting Parkwood facility for the long-awaited start of the trial late in March.
Deputy Premier and Regional NSW minister John Barilaro said 64 of the extra 100 palliative care nurses in NSW would be assigned to regional and rural NSW.
He said the funding package would also see an increase in the number of palliative care Aboriginal health workers rise from nine to 18 to ensure every district had a full-time position.
Mr Barilaro said there would also be an increased use of online resources to help provide palliative care for people in remote areas.
And he said the money would also be used to refurbish existing palliative care facilities across NSW.
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