As Minister of Health, I am pleased to acknowledge National Hospice Palliative Care Week, May 4th to 10th, the focus of which is “Busting the Myths about Hospice Palliative Care”.
This year’s theme underscores the important need for Canadians – no matter where they live – to better understand palliative care and to start talking about the type of care they expect at the end of their lives.
The progress Canada has made in health and healthcare, along with broader social and economic advances, has contributed to Canada having a vibrant aging population, with one of the highest life expectancies in the world. The aging population is also a leading factor behind an increasing demand for palliative care, and for that care to be delivered in a variety of settings such as hospitals, long-term care facilities, hospices and in the home.
The Government of Canada is committed to working with provinces and territories to help ensure that Canadians receive the compassionate care they need. Health Canada has supported initiatives to encourage Canadians to discuss and consider options and plan for their end-of-life care.
In addition, federal funding of $3 million is supporting the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association and the Quality End-of-Life Care Coalition of Canada in leading The Way Forward initiative, which will allow care to be delivered in a wider range of settings and by a variety of providers in a more cost-effective and sustainable way. Earlier this year, I also announced additional funding of $3 million over three years to the Pallium Foundation of Canada to support training in palliative care for front-line healthcare providers.
Along with increasing supports for caregivers, our Government has also invested more than $43 million in the area of palliative care research through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
Finally, I would like to commend the tireless efforts of volunteers and front-line workers in this field all across the country. The work they do to improve the quality of end-of-life care for Canadians and their families is exemplary.
The Honourable Rona Ambrose
Minister of Health