Palliative care beyond that for cancer in Australia

Geoffrey K. Mitchell, Claire E. Johnson, Keri Thomas, Scott A. Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review


Only a quarter of patients' deaths are due to cancer, but the vast majority of the patients of specialist palliative care services have cancer as a primary diagnosis.

Almost two-thirds of patients dying of an expected illness do not receive specialist palliative care at all, and this proportion is likely to increase as the population ages.

Australian health system care for dying people needs systematic change so that people who may require palliative care in the foreseeable future are systematically identified, and have proactive care plans developed to meet their complex needs.

This can be done in general practice and aged care, as shown by a model for such care in the United Kingdom.

We explain the need for system change, and propose steps by which this might be achieved. MJA 2010; 193:124-126

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-126
Number of pages3
JournalThe Medical journal of Australia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2010

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