Change to die for?

The baby boomers are reaching old age and in the next quarter century the number of Australians who die each year will double.

But dying in Australia is amongst the most institutionalised in the world – 86 per cent of Australians die in hospital or residential care. Many have deaths that are lingering, impersonal and disempowered and the cost of dying is high. With dying on the increase, this will become a much more significant issue for health policy in the future. The forthcoming Grattan report, Dying well argues that death is hidden and avoided and that most people have not discussed the services and support they would like when they die. How do we get people to discuss their preferences and choices for end-of-life care and what reforms are needed to ensure people have a good death?

This Policy Pitch event discussed the changes needed to improve the quality of dying in Australia.

Professor Hal Swerissen is the visiting Health Program Fellow at Grattan Institute. Hal has an extensive and distinguished record of achievement in health policy research and analysis. He has held senior executive positions as Pro Vice Chancellor (Regional) and Executive Dean of Health Sciences at La Trobe University. He has been a senior advisor to Commonwealth and State governments and has conducted a range of policy and research studies and inquiries. He has published more than 100 academic papers and research reports.

Senator Jan McLucas began public life with her election as a Cairns City Councillor in 1995, and then was elected to the Australian Senate representing QLD in 1998. From November 2004 Jan has held a variety of Ministerial positions, including: Shadow Minister for Ageing, Disability and Carers, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing, Parliamentary Secretary for Disability and Carers, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Minister for Human Services and Shadow Minister for Mental Health and for Housing and Homelessness.

Interested in delving deeper into this subject? We have prepared a reading list for you!

State Library of Victoria

The Policy Pitch is a joint initiative of the State Library of Victoria and Grattan Institute to provide a public interest series on key policy themes. These free public seminars will offer lively, intelligent and thoughtful debate.