Is Palliative Care working to save money at the expense of patients?



This is about Palliative Care in Queensland. My family member was referred by a Brisbane hospital to a Palliative Care Service run by another facility without their knowledge or consent.  Something that I did not think would happen in the 21th century. He received a totally unexpected phone call from the service saying they were going to arrange for his in home palliative care.

This happened while an outpatient and not yet at a stage where he wished to consider in home Palliative Care. It was 3 months prior to the diagnosis that the cancer had returned. He was then pressured for 3 months to accept  a service he did not need or want.  

Following diagnosis he changed to a private health service  He never got to a stage where in home palliative care was necessary so the public health system had caused a great deal of extra unnecessary stress.

Then I learnt about Palliative Care in Brisbane. I believe it is used as a mechanism to try and reduce public hospital costs by referring people to early palliative care as quickly as possible and encouraging them not to seek hospital treatment for health concerns. I could not see any concern for the welfare of the patients, referring people as early as possible seemed purely to be about saving money.

The pain management provided by the hospital Palliative Care staff in the outpatient clinic and also while an inpatient for a procedure was of a very low standard, far different I believe from the high quality care that my family has received by other hospital departments.  It seems that as soon as the cancer is considered incurable, the person starts to be treated as less than human. They are no longer kept informed or allowed to have a say in their health care decisions.




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