GPs the ‘missing link’ in palliative care provision

WA GP and Palliative Care Australia president Dr Scott Blackwell said research had previously shown 75–80% of palliative care patients would prefer to die in their own home but to do so they needed the help of a willing GP in order to access late stage palliative care.

“The ability to support people to the end of their life… is very dependent on the willingness of the GP to step out of his comfort zone and go into the patient’s home [but] many GPs have withdrawn from traditional community practice and run walk-in-walk-out practices,” he said.

Dr Blackwell’s comments backed a submission from South Australian GP Dr Chris Moy to a senate inquiry into the provision of palliative care in Australia, due to begin public hearings next month, which said GPs were the “missing link in the palliative care landscape”.

“GPs need a single entry point, coordination of services by a community palliative care