Growing aging population puts pressure on palliative care

A NEW report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows palliative care-related hospitalisations have risen more than 50% over the past decade.

The report, due to be released today, showed there were almost 62,000 palliative care hospitalisations in the 2012-13 financial year - an increase of 52% since 2003-04.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare spokesman Geoff Neideck said the nation's growing and aging population was increasing the demand for palliative care services.

He said the report showed older people accessed palliative care services more frequently.

"People aged 75 years and over accounted for just over half of all palliative care hospitalisations," he said.

"The report showed 56% of palliative care hospitalisations were for patients with cancer.

"For certain types of cancer, palliative care played a particularly prominent role in patients' hospital care."