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Elsie's Retreat

February 15, 2019

This week, a year ago, my father Grant was shown the kindness, compassion and care of the Central Coast Specialist Palliative Care service. To honour my Dad's wish to be cared for surrounded by family and friends made the end of a very long struggle one filled with dignity.

That's why I was delighted to join Catherine King, Labor's Federal Shadow Minister for Health, Walt Secord, NSW Shadow Health Minister, and Labor Candidate for Robertson, Anne Charlton, to announce that a Shorten Labor Government will build a palliative care hospice on the Coast.

The Central Coast is one of the biggest regions in Australia that does not have a standalone palliative care unit.

Federal Labor will invest $20 million to establish a 20-bed standalone Palliative Care Unit at Woy Woy Hospital – answering the long-standing calls of the local community.

This announcement was supported by NSW Labor's commitment to fund staff and provide the site on the Woy Woy Public Hospital Campus.

NSW Labor MPs, David Harris, Member for Wyong, David Mehan, Member for The Entrance, Liesl Tesch, Member for Gosford, and Jeff Sundstrom, Labor candidate for Terrigal, in partnership with Federal Labor, are working towards this important palliative care unit.

The new unit will house a dedicated multidisciplinary specialist palliative care team to meet patients’ end-of-life needs. Construction of the facility is expected to commence in 2020 and will also support local jobs and suppliers.

The Coast community, supported by the Lions, have been calling for a palliative care facility for nearly six years. Over 10,000 locals joined the cause by signing the petition.

At the launch, I thanked Oana McBride, who founded the Elsie's Retreat community campaign following the death of her friend, Elsie, a nurse who was forced to spend her last days in an aged care facility. I also thanked the Wyoming East Gosford Centennial Lions Club who championed Oana's cause for this palliative care unit.

This investment is part of Labor’s Fair Go Action Plan to protect Medicare and fix our hospitals. It will be funded through our $2.8 billion Better Hospitals Fund.

We will do all we can to improve palliative care on the Central Coast. To add your support to this campaign, please sign our petition {CLICK}