More detail needed on hospice before funding, says council
NO DECISION has been made on the Fraser Coast Regional Council's funding contribution for a new hospice, with councillors deciding more information is needed before voting.
The six-bed hospice, which will be one of the region's first treatment centres to provide palliative care outside hospitals, was announced in March by Hinkler MP Keith Pitt in the lead-up to the Federal Election.
Agreements have been signed to deliver the project under the first round of the Federal Government's Community Health and Hospitals Program.
The council will approach the project, with the Federal Government and the Hospice Association to provide funding and available land.
During a confidential motion as last month's council meeting, Fraser Coast councillors delayed voting on approving funding for the $7 million development and instead opted to leave it on the table awaiting further information.
Councillor Denis Chapman was not present due to declaring a conflict of interest on the motion.
Cr Chapman, who is a member of the Fraser Coast Hospice Association committee, said the new centre would take pressure off the current hospital system.
"At the moment we have no palliative care in the region where people can die with dignity," Cr Chapman said.
"Hospitals are designed to save lives and put people back on the street.
"The idea of a hospice is that people know their days are numbered.
"They can go into an environment where they know they will be cared for."
It is understood the $7 million hospice will provide 24-hour care.
In March, Hinkler MP Keith Pitt told the Chronicle specialist care for terminally ill patients was a major issue on the Fraser Coast.
"The special care needs required for a terminal patient can be complicated and often not available at home, which results in people ending up in hospital," Mr Pitt said.
"Partnerships with the local education sector will mean many allied health, nursing or personal carer students can do placements at the hospice."