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Dr Merlina Sulistio’s impact on National Palliative Care Week


Dr Merlina Sulistio

Emphasises the importance of maintaining quality of life

During National Palliative Care Week, Dr. Merlina Sulistio, a distinguished Palliative Care Physician at Cabrini, introduces a fresh perspective. She advocates for active community engagement in discussions about life-limiting illnesses and end-of-life matters. Dr. Sulistio emphasises maintaining quality of life while championing a holistic approach to care. Her initiative encourages individuals to embrace life’s fullest potential without hastening or postponing death.

National Palliative Care Week, observed from 19 – 25 May, showcases Cabrini’s dedicated palliative care team under the theme ‘Matters of Life and Death.’ Cabrini reaffirms its commitment to raising awareness, improving access to services, and supporting its invaluable workforce in delivering exceptional care.

As a crucial member of Cabrini’s Palliative and Supportive Care Team, Dr. Sulistio offers specialised expertise in pain and symptom management, psychosocial care, and bereavement support. Her dedication is deeply rooted in personal experiences of caring for a family member with cancer, propelling her mission to create a lasting legacy in their honour.

According to Palliative Care Australia, over half (53%) of all deaths in Australia would benefit from palliative care (Sleeman et al). This is made up of people with life-limiting illnesses like dementia, heart disease, cancer and more. Other research (Murtagh 2014) puts the number as high as 82%, which reflects our aging population and growing levels of chronic disease.

Demand for palliative care will increase by 50% between now and 2035, and double by 2050 as Australia’s population ages and the level of chronic disease in our community grows (KPMG).

Cabrini is unwavering in its objective to meet these escalating needs, ensuring that all Australians requiring palliative care have equitable access to it. Recognising the emotional and challenging nature of caring for someone in their final chapter of life, Dr. Sulistio emphasises the importance of self-care for caregivers.

“Caring for someone during life’s final chapter can present profound challenges and emotional hurdles. Prioritising self-care is not only crucial but also a privilege, empowering caregivers to offer the best possible support,” emphasises Dr. Sulistio.

For further information about Palliative Care at Cabrini, please visit: