The majority of Australians with life-limiting illnesses are cared for at home by their families and friends with medical support provided by their General Practitioner. A large number receive additional care from Community Nurses who are usually based in specific Palliative Care services. Several agencies provide home help, performing services such as cleaning, laundry or shopping, and these can sometimes be paid for or contributed to by the government. In Nepal well organized palliative care services are not available. Palliative care is provided by primary physicians/ surgeons indicating a shortage of specialists in the field, in addition many doctors and health services providers do not regard palliative care as a priority. In Nepal most patients live in remote rural areas of the Himalayas. In both Australia and Nepal the patient can spend the last few days at home. However the government in Australia is able to provide much more support to families in these circumstances, in Nepal families must be very much more self sufficient. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not reflect any official policy or practice.
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