Have we under invested in Palliative Care?

Aligning Policy Objectives and Payment Design in Palliative Care 


Presentation slides 

The World Health Assembly called upon member states, including Australia, to ensure good access to palliative care, but the reality of palliative care provision falls short of that aspiration. Are bottlenecks, distorted incentives and inefficiency created by funding mechanisms?

Funding arrangements for palliative care are not optimal. People miss out on needed care, and the health system does not function as well as it should because people end up in intensive care when they would have preferred to be looked after at home.

If palliative care is to become a universally accessible service, new approaches to funding, based on the experience of funding reforms in other parts of the health system, need to be adopted. Payment models for palliative care should move toward activity-based funding using an agreed classification, be uncapped funding with performance monitoring, and make explicit use of performance metrics and reporting.

In this presentation the Grattan Institute’s Health Program Director, Professor Stephen Duckett, outlines how we can improve policy and payment design to increase access to palliative care.


Professor Stephen Duckett is Health Program Director at the Grattan Institute and author of Aligning policy objectives and payment design in palliative care.   

Dr Stephen Duckett has held top operational and policy leadership positions in health care in Australia and Canada.

He has a reputation for creativity, evidence-based innovation and reform in areas ranging from the introduction of activity-based funding for hospitals, to new systems of accountability for the safety of hospital care.

An economist, he is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.

More Information

Twitter: @stephenjduckett
The Conversation: Assisted dying is one thing, but governments must ensure palliative care is available to all who need it
The Conversation: Waiting for better care: why Australia’s hospitals and health care are failing
Website: Grattan Institute
Report: Dying Well
Google Scholar: Stephen Duckett
Palliative Care Australia: Palliative care funding needs reform

The Hawke Centre     

Presented by The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre and Palliative Care SA

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