The Queensland Government has established its own inquiry into aged care and palliative care. The inquiry will be conducted by the Health, Communities, Disability Services and Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Committee. The inquiry will look at:
- The delivery of aged care, end-of-life and palliative care in Queensland across the health and ageing service systems; and
- Community and health practitioners’ views on the desirability of supporting voluntary assisted dying, including provisions for it being legislated in Queensland and any necessary safeguards to protect vulnerable persons.
The committee report is due by 30 November 2019.
The inquiry’s terms of reference require the committee to proactively work with the Federal Government’s Royal Commission into the Quality and Safety of Aged Care and to take steps to ensure there is an appropriate exchange of information so that the inquiry can benefit from the work of the Royal Commission. Hopefully this will ensure that providers and consumers are not required to duplicate work done in responding to the Royal Commission.
Unfortunately the post on the Premier’s official Facebook page and the responses it elicited suggest otherwise. Any efforts to improve the provision of palliative care to Queenslanders is welcome as is Queensland’s participation in the debate about assisted dying laws but it is unclear why there is a need to spend more tax payers’ money on an additional inquiry in aged care given the extensive inquisitorial powers of the Royal Commission.