Only one state health department publicly releases the number of COVID deaths that occur in the home, with the majority limiting information to hospital fatalities...
Professor Mark Morgan, Chair of RACGP Expert Committee – Quality Care (REC–QC), told newsGP while statistics on people dying at home or in other settings are only ‘a tiny bit of the story’, more focus should be placed on establishing the context when do they do occur.
‘As a society we should do everything possible to prevent people from dying in distress,’ he said.
‘People should ideally be able to prepare for death, understand what is happening, choose the location for dying and feel supported by others.
‘My concern about people dying at home is when these conditions are not met. Where a person is lonely, afraid and physically suffering.’
...With GPs having been entrusted to manage and treat the vast majority of COVID-19 cases in the community, Professor Morgan says he would like to see more support to ensure they can provide appropriate care.
‘People should have access to great palliative care from trusted health professions. This care should help relieve physical distress and mental anguish, and the care should support families,’ he said.
‘As a health system, how are we going to give people the best death possible?
‘As a GP, I want to be supported to achieve this. I want there to be expertise, equipment, medication and team members to support me to provide the best care possible.
‘And for patients that choose to die in hospital, I want them to be able to access that service.’