Review of Adult Palliative Care Services in New Zealand

Published online: 
30 March 2017

This review presents a refreshed strategic direction for adult palliative care and proposes a suite of initiatives to help manage future increases in demand for palliative care. 

We know that as people live longer there will be more people with complex conditions who will need palliative care to give them the best possible quality of life before they die. 

In the next 20 years the number of deaths in New Zealand is projected to increase by nearly 50 percent, from the current rate of around 30,000 to around 45,000 each year.  Many of these people are likely to benefit from palliative care, ranging from simple to highly specialised.

The Adult Palliative Care Review has identified five broad areas where improvements can be made to support and strengthen the provision of palliative care services, and ensure they are co-ordinated and responsive to people’s needs and circumstances.

The five areas focus on the need to:

  • increase the emphasis on primary palliative care
  • improve quality in all settings
  • grow the capability of communities and informal carers
  • respond to the voices of individuals and their families/whānau
  • ensure strong strategic connections.

A separate Palliative Care Action Plan sets out 19 actions to address the five focus areas, identifies key partners and establishes short, medium and longer term priorities.

Palliative care is also a part of both the New Zealand Health Strategy and the Healthy Ageing Strategy

Guidance for integrated palliative care services for children was published in 2012.

Publishing information

  • Date of publication:
    30 March 2017
  • ISBN:
    978-1-98-850236-6 (print), 978-0-947515-82-9 (online)
  • HP number:
    6516
  • Citation:
    Ministry of Health. 2017. Review of Adult Palliative Care Services in New Zealand. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
  • Ordering information:
    Only soft copy available to download
  • Copyright status:
    Owned by the Ministry of Health and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.
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