Dying with dignity now a choice after Forrest Centre hospice receives $2m for 10 new beds

A $2 million funding contribution from the State Government has assured a new 10-bed palliative care facility at the Forrest Centre’s hospice on Lewisham Avenue in Wagga.

The New South Wales state budget included a record $100 million palliative care package for regional communities in NSW and Wagga MP Daryl Maguire said it was a welcome boost for the region’s health care industry, growing economy and job development.

“After years of the previous Labor Government neglecting our region, the Berejiklian Government has addressed this very real need for palliative care services across the state,” he said

“This significant investment in palliative care will address the need for specialist training of staff in rural and regional communities.

“The funding is also to provide for additional healthcare workers – doctors and nurses – for extra positions in regional areas, including Murrumbidgee.”

Forrest Centre chairman Peter Fitzpatrick congratulated the government for its commitment in ensuring the contribution and indicated that the two million dollars was “the last piece of the palliative care puzzle” in ensuring the centre is built.

“For 20 years I have been involved in our region’s endeavors to have palliative care hospice and regionally, it is tough,” he said.

“The hospice is the final piece of the puzzle that is the palliative care alliance, which I believe will provide coordinated palliative care regionally for all people to facilitate a dignified end of life.”

The Forrest Centre is a unique ecumenical joint venture between the Anglican Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn, and the Little Company of Mary, a congregation of Roman Catholic Religious Sisters.

Mr Maguire said the new building is half way to completion and the $2m completes “our radiotherapy palliative care plan”.

“I am pleased to be part of a Liberal Nationals government that is delivering for the people of the Riverina and Murrumbidgee region,” he said.

“There’s never been a better time to be a member in government to get things done.”

Mr Fitzpatrick said the “development is well and truly under way” and expects the hospice to be “operational no later than April” 2018.