Rambling Rich – August 2022
Hello all! It has been a while since I last wrote to you, and I want to start by saying thank you. Thank you for getting behind Waipuna Hospice over the last few months. It hasn’t been an easy time for anyone, but our community really pulled together to help.
To those that contributed towards Hospice Awareness Week through our appeal, community collection, or symposium, THANK YOU. You helped advocate the importance of hospice services and also helped us raise over $47,000 which is just outstanding.
I’d also like to thank everyone who took part in Shorts for Hospice. So many of you dared to put on your shorts on the shortest day, and we couldn’t be more grateful – because of you we raised almost $11K!
And finally, thanks to everyone who has responded to our appeal for donated goods to our shops. Our retail sector does an incredible job of turning donated items into money to support the work of Waipuna Hospice. However, we have been struggling to get enough stock. So, we asked, and you have listened. Donations were on the rise for July, but we always need more, so please keep those donations coming.
While I can’t seem to say thank you enough at the moment, there is a reason for it. We are living in such uncertain times and in my time at Waipuna Hospice I have seen the need for palliative care in our community grow.
Waipuna Hospice is one of the main providers of palliative care in our community, providing specialist palliative care.
However, palliative care is a large cross-healthcare team. This team includes our GPs who do a fantastic job, our small palliative care liaison teams at Tauranga Hospital, and our local aged care service providers. We all are endeavouring to provide the best care for those we love and care about in our community. At a time like this where we are facing an ongoing pandemic, we find the chronic underfunding of healthcare coming into stark focus under the ultimate stress test. You may ask – why are such vital services underfunded?
One aspect is societal – we are a death-denying world. Many of us find it too difficult to talk about it. Some think that having a legal will is tempting fate (trust me, this is something that your family will thank you for in the future).
Another aspect is the lack of government health strategy for end-of-life care. The current strategy document has the tag line, “All New Zealanders, live well, stay well, get well” – a laudable sentiment – but sadly lacks one important line, “die well”. Dying is not a failure – it is one of the two certainties in life – you are born and you will die.
We are in a new period for healthcare with the formation of Te Whatu Ora – Health NZ and we wait on what the future holds for palliative and end-of-life care in the new healthcare world. Again, there is very little being discussed about palliative care in the documents from Te Whatu Ora.
I feel strongly that hospice and end-of-life care needs recognition from the new health reforms.
Recognition that the end-of-life care sector is chronically underfunded across all providers and an equitable improved funding model is needed across the sector.
Recognition by the inclusion of palliative and end-of-life care in a thorough and comprehensive strategy with a road map to making this strategy possible.
And recognition that even though people are said to be “dying” they live until the moment they die.
I am always so thankful to those who help advocate for and support the work of Waipuna Hospice – because of you, we can continue to provide these vital services to people in our community. So, to repeat what I said at the very start of this letter, THANK YOU for your continued support.
This update was first published in our newsletter – Waipuna Connections, issue 80.