Recently I was privileged to attend the Sydney Relay For Life with my colleagues; the Member for Canterbury, the Member for Sydney and the Member for Balmain. Relay For Life raises money for the Cancer Council NSW and is used to fund research, prevention, advocacy and support programs.
The Sydney Cancer Advocacy Network and Dr Yvonne McMaster are campaigning alongside Cancer Council NSW to increase the number of palliative care qualified physicians and nurses in New South Wales, and to provide culturally appropriate palliative care services to Aboriginal people.
Access to quality palliative care is a basic human right and one that too many people in this State, particularly in regional and rural areas, continue to be denied. Quality palliative care improves clinical outcomes, patient-centered decision-making and reduces hospital costs over the long term. People with life-limiting illness should be able to access specialist palliative care when and wherever they need it anywhere in New South Wales.
I congratulate the organisers of Relay For Life and all those in the community who are fighting to ensure that the vulnerable people who need these services most are never turned away in their time of need.