Bupa partners on palliative care program

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Bupa has partnered with St Vincent’s Private Hospital in Brisbane to create the Palliative Care Choices pilot program.

The program is designed to give patients at the end of their life the option to be cared for at home. Surveys show that, while 70 per cent of Australians would choose to die at home, only 14 per cent actually do.

According to Bupa, 133 of its customers participated in the program, and 95 per cent of those who chose to die at home were able to do so.

Participants received personalised care at home, including specialist medical and nursing care, overnight nursing assistance, and counselling and allied health services/ It was funded by Bupa, with the service delivered by St Vincent’s Private Hospital in Brisbane.

It was delivered over the last six to 12 months of the patient's life.

Dr Paul Bates, Bupa chief medical officer, said improving end-of-life care gives people dignity, respect and choice.

“Conversations around dying still remains a taboo subject in Australia,” said Dr Bates.

“The results so far have shown that we can increase customer choice, improve quality of care, deliver high satisfaction for customers and families and suggests cost effective care that includes home care can be provided in the last months of life. It’s part of our commitment to giving people choice in the care they receive at the most sensitive times,” he added.

The two-year pilot program will continue until August 2018.