Member for Kiama Gareth Ward has today condemned the NSW Minns Labor Government for its reckless and heartless cuts to our Local Health District’s budget for palliative care services in the Illawarra-Shoalhaven Local Health District.

Mr Ward has called on Ryan Park as Minister for Health but also Minister for the Illawarra to reverse the cuts.

“Under questioning in Budget Estimates, Minister Park who is both Health Minister and Minister for the Illawarra revealed that the palliative care budget to the Illawarra-Shoalhaven Health District had been cut by $9.2 million. That represents a sizable budget cut and will mean dying patients in our region will not able to receive end-of-life care.

“In Budget Estimates, the Minister admitted that the number of full-time positions for our region has been reduced from 15 full time positions to less than 10.

“For years, Minister Park whinged about the lack of a Ministry for the Illawarra at the Cabinet table. Well, we know have one and the region is far worse off under Labor.

“Reducing funding to these essential services compromises the fundamental values of compassion and dignity that should underpin our health care system in New South Wales.

“This request is not only from the concerned residents of my electorate but also from Palliative Care NSW and other stakeholders who have expressed their dismay at the cuts revealed in the 2023-24 budget.

“Minister, the current government's stance on this issue does not meet the needs and expectations of our community. I implore you to reverse the cuts in budgets you are directly responsible for,” Mr Ward concluded.