The Palaszczuk Government looks set to ignore the professional advice from the Australian Medical Association Queensland (AMAQ) and rush to introduce assisted suicide legislation.
The AMAQ released their top 11 priorities for a healthy Queensland before the 31 October election, with improved funding for palliative care one of the first items on the list. AMAQ president Professor Chris Perry highlighted overnight the continuing massive shortfall in palliative care funding. Whilst Palliative Care Queensland recommends a figure of $277 million per year, the Queensland Government has promised only $28.5 million per year.
“It is imperative that the government takes medical professional advice from groups such as the AMAQ, who do not support the introduction of assisted suicide legislation,” Queensland’s Director for the Australian Christian Lobby, Wendy Francis, said. “If the Minister for Health, Steven Miles, is serious about caring for Queenslanders at the end of their lives, he will stop the rush to introduce assisted suicide.”
“The government must first ensure adequate funding is available for every person – no matter where they live – to access doctors with palliative care expertise. Rural Queenslanders deserve nothing less than a health system which values every life equally.
“Offering hope to every Queenslander must come before giving in to despair. At the end of a difficult year, with rising suicide rates, our Government should be leaving no stone unturned to deliver hope, not prematurely ending lives.”