(March 22, 2017 – Ottawa, ON) The Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA) is looking forward to further details of the Government of Canada’s 2017 Budget. Today’s announcement builds on the 12 recently-negotiated Federal-Provincial/Territorial Health Accords, in which additional targeted funding for home care, including palliative care, was agreed to over a ten-year period in each jurisdiction. CHPCA supports the development of performance indicators and mechanisms for annual reporting to citizens, as well as a detailed plan on how the funds will be spent, over and above existing programs.
“We were pleased that funding for home care, including palliative care was included in today’s Budget,” said Sharon Baxter, Executive Director of the CHPCA. “We look forward to hearing further details and encourage all provinces to use funding where it will best meet the end-of-life care needs in their jurisdictions.”
CHPCA is also pleased with the 5-year investment of $184.6 million for home and palliative care specifically for First Nations and Inuit Health. This is an important step in helping to support Canada’s indigenous peoples who are underserved when it comes to access to palliative and end-of-life care.
Finally, CHPCA is supportive of the simplified Canada Caregiver Credit that will be available to more Canadians who provide care to dependent relatives, including those who do not live with their caregivers, and of the proposed amendments to the Canada Labour Code to give federally regulated workers the right to request flexible work arrangements from their employers to further support caregivers.
It is estimated that more than 269,000 Canadians died in 2016. In 2016, there were roughly 1.5 million people aged 80 or over. It is projected to increase to 3.3 million by 2036. Support for hospice palliative care is almost unanimous, with the vast majority of Canadians (96%) being supportive. However, Canadian families frequently shoulder 25% of the total cost of palliative care due to costs associated with home based services such as nursing and personal care services. With today’s announcement, the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association is hopeful that the financial burdens placed on caregivers will be lessened, leading to better care for all Canadians at end of life, and for those caring for them.
Ms. Baxter added that in addition to supports announced in today’s budget, “We are also pleased that the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health is undertaking a clause-by-clause review of Bill C-277: An Act providing for the development of a framework on palliative care in Canada. We hope that the Federal government recognizes the value of the legislation and will support it, including a commitment to a fully-funded plan. The time to act is now.”
About the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association
The Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA) is the national voice for hospice palliative care in Canada. It is a bilingual, national charitable non-profit association whose mission is the pursuit of excellence in care for persons approaching death so that the burdens of suffering, loneliness and grief are lessened.
For more information or to set up an interview, please contact:
Communications and Policy Advisor
Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association