National Palliative Care Week is once again upon us – an annual event organised by Palliative Care Australia to raise awareness about end-of-life issues.
Running from May 19 to 25, this year's event is centred on the idea that palliative care is "everyone's business" – that it will affect us all at some time.
A recent survey conducted by Palliative Care Australia revealed that an astonishing one in two respondents had not discussed any end-of-life-care decisions with their loved ones.
The survey, which questioned people who had recently lost a family member or close friend, also demonstrated that only 15 per cent of the population had given any thought to their final weeks.
In addition to this, just 56 per cent of respondents were confident that the final wishes of the person they lost were carried out, and 30 per cent weren't treated in a place of their choice.
Evidently Australians need to put a little more time aside to make end-of-life decisions.
One way you can plan for the future health care of you and your family is by taking out an Australian health insurance policy.
A private health insurance plan can allow you to be cared for by the doctor of your choosing in the place of your choice. This may take at least some of the stress away from any medical treatments you need to undergo.
Minister for health Tanya Plibersek also announced that the government would be putting $10 million towards getting Advance Care Directives on the Personally Controlled Electronic Health (eHealth) Record.
Advance Care Directives are documents that inform others of the medical care you should like to receive in the event you are unable to make such decisions.
The eHealth system was launched in July 2012 and basically constitutes electronic summaries of patients' important health information.
According to Mark Butler (minister for ageing), the inclusion of end-of-life decisions in this secure online system would allow these important plans to be shared more easily with the people who will eventually be responsible for carrying them out, such as doctors, family members and carers. They would be able to access them anywhere in the world.
Our aged population is growing and the demand for better palliative care services is growing because of it. Approximately 110,000 people require palliative care each and every year.
HICA can help you make sure your loved ones get the care they need when they need it by providing you with expert advice and assisting you with comparing health insurance policies.