The Palliative Care Council was established in 2008 by Cancer Control New Zealand to provide independent and expert advice to the Minister of Health, and to report on New Zealand’s performance in providing palliative and end-of-life care. This is achieved through independent advice on:
- A strategic approach to palliative and end-of-life care that supports and involves the sector.
- Initiatives to reduce inequalities in access to palliative and end-of-life care services.
- How effectively initiatives have been implemented.
- International directions and initiatives in palliative and end-of-life care.
The PCC also reports on progress in implementing the New Zealand Palliative Care Strategy and New Zealand’s performance in providing palliative and end-of life care.
The Palliative Care Council is currently part of, and supported by, the Cancer Control New Zealand and includes representatives from the New Zealand Branch of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine, Hospice New Zealand, Hospital Palliative Care New Zealand and Palliative Care Nurses New Zealand, and members nominated by the Royal NZ College of GPs/NZ Rural GP network, Nursing Council of NZ, Māori and consumers.
Download the Introducing the Palliative Care Council of New Zealand leaflet for more information.
NB: The Palliative Care Council provides advice directly to the Minister of Health. This makes it different to the Palliative Care Advisory Group, which provides expert advice to the Ministry of Health Cancer Team about the Ministry’s palliative care work.
What is Palliative Care?
Palliative care is a holistic approach to the care of people dying from progressive, incurable disease, which aims to prevent and relieve suffering through “early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other symptoms” (World Health Organisation 2002, p. 84). It embraces all spheres of health including physical, psychosocial, spiritual and cultural aspects of wellbeing, and is centred upon achieving the best possible quality of life for the individual.
Palliative care is an integral component of the health care continuum and may be provided when curative or disease modifying treatment has come to an end, or while treatment directed at the disease is still being given. Palliative care also encompasses the family/whanau and carer(s) of the dying person, and may continue to support these people after the person’s death.
See also New Zealand Palliative Care: A Working Definition for further information on palliative care.