Palliative care advocate's visit to region reignites long-running issue

Dr Yvonne McMaster
Dr Yvonne McMaster

THE NSW government has traversed a lot of stormy water in recent years.

Just as one storm passes, once again the horizon darkens and the waters begin to rumble.

And when it rains, it pours.

This government copped a battering from contentious reforms to local council and greyhound racing, storms so fierce, it was forced to retreat.

And the hatches were well and truly battened down this weekend, as the coalition’s junior partner, The Nationals, braced for backlash in the Cootmundra and Murray by-elections, in the state’s south.

Ultimately, the Nats prevailed, but the voters’ swing against the party was not going unnoticed.

Maybe breathing easier, following a white-knuckled election weekend, sure enough, another long-running issue for the state government rumbled over the horizon in the small town of Quirindi, more than a four-hour-drive from Macquarie St.

Palliative care has been a hot issue for a couple of years.

The heat was felt come budget time this year, as the government pledged a record $100 million towards end-of-life care.

The heat radiated from our region, as well as many across NSW.

While the pledge to improve the state’s palliative care was rightly welcomed, questions have been raised over the glacial pace since the announcement.

Since then, thunder has begun to once again rumble on the issue.

In August, the NSW auditor general released a scathing analysis of palliative care and said the sector was not “effectively coordinated”.

Now, the Qurindi CWA has joined the push and invited one of the state’s foremost campaigners, Yvonne McMaster, to talk about the issue.

Dr McMaster has retired, but she hasn’t stopped working to get more community-based palliative care in community’s around the state.

“In life, there are so many things you see that need fixing, but you don’t know how to fix it,” she said.

“This I know about and I know how to fix it so give ‘em hell.”

There’s worse credos to follow.

Kudos to Quirindi and its CWA for throwing its support behind the issue and adding pressure to an issue where time is of the essence.