• FIle image of St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney (AAP)
Palliative care provider St Vincent's Health Australia says it will tell people looking for assisted dying in Victoria to go to other hospitals.
Source:
AAP
11 Jul - 11:52 AM  UPDATED 11 Jul - 11:59 AM

Palliative care provider St Vincent's Health Australia says it won't offer assisted dying in Victoria even if it the state government legalises it.

The government is considering how an assisted dying model would work, with an interim report recommending a conservative model if Victoria were to legalise the practice.

"If there's a situation where someone really is seeking a different end (to palliative care) ... St Vincent's would say, 'Look, there are hospitals and other clinicians that can help you'," St Vincent's chief executive Toby Hall told 3AW on Tuesday.

"We won't turn them away, we would say our belief ... is that our (palliative) services are excellent. They will give you a dignified, good end of life."

St Vincent's is Australia's largest Catholic not-for-profit health and aged care provider with private and public hospitals and aged care facilities in NSW, Victoria and Queensland.

Mr Hall said only a tiny proportion of people wanted assisted suicide to be legal and called for more investment in palliative care instead.

"Hospitals are essentially about supporting people to stay alive and I think we have to hold onto that principle," he said.

The government's report in May reached no conclusion about when terminally ill people might be able to opt for an assisted death.

Health Minister Jill Hennessy ruled out people with Alzheimer's and dementia being able to take up the option.

She also said people would need to have the mental competence to make that choice.

Premier Daniel Andrews, who last year said he had decided to support assisted dying following his father's death, called for a respectful debate.

"Issues should be able to be canvassed, points of view should be able to be heard, done so in a respectful manner," he told journalists on Tuesday.

"People are entitled to have different opinions and views."

The government has previously said it wants to present a bill for MPs to vote on in the second half of 2017.