Steps to Improve Access to High Quality Palliative Care Identified

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 General News
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OTTAWA, May 10, 2017 /CNW/ - Canada needs to develop integrated and comprehensive palliative care in home, community, and

long-term care settings. An analysis and assessment of the Palliative Care Matters Initiative by The Conference Board of Canada suggests next steps and actions to be taken.

"Changes to Canada's

health systems are needed in order to meet the palliative care needs of Canadians," said Louis Thériault, Vice-President, Industry Strategy and Public Policy for The Conference Board of Canada. "Palliative and end-of-life care in Canada is evolving and this has implications for care provided in hospitals, homes, communities, and long-term care setting."


  • More Canadians are dying outside of hospital settings than in the past, and this has implications for care provided in homes, communities, and long-term care settings.
  • Future demand for palliative and end-of-life care services means governments and other stakeholders must develop workforce capacity.
  • Continued collaboration and sharing between governments and other stakeholders is needed to take the next steps in achieving timely access to high-quality palliative care for Canadians.

With National Hospice Palliative Care week underway, The Conference Board of Canada report summarizes the Palliative Care Matters initiative's pan-Canadian consensus statement, which offers 20 recommendations on how Canada can improve access to quality palliative care and outlines steps to move from recommendations to action.

They include:

  • Leverage opportunities in home and community care: Evidence suggests that there is great demand for palliative home care. Canada needs to immediately develop enhanced palliative and end-of-life capacity in home, community, and long-term care settings.
  • Workforce planning is essential: The future demand for palliative and end-of-life care services means governments and other stakeholders must develop workforce capacity.
  • Maintain engagement with patients and the public: Canadian patients and the public are integral to the planning for health care changes and improvements to palliative care. As caregivers are the main providers of palliative care in homes and communities, their input is essential. Canadians should be actively engaged in planning, implementing, and measuring change.
  • Build a better understanding of needs and expectations: Palliative and end-of-life care is changing, perhaps more than previously known. More evidence and insights into the palliative and end-of-life needs and expectations of Canadians are needed.
  • Adopt a strategic approach: While examples of high-quality hospice and innovative palliative care can be found across Canada, many were developed organically through local leadership and resources, and access is uneven within and across jurisdictions, with some populations significantly underserved. A strategic framework and plans can address some issues surrounding quality and access.

Financial contribution for the report, Palliative Care Matters: Fostering Change in Canadian Health, were provided by Health Canada and Covenant Health. The views expressed in the report are not necessarily the views of Health Canada or Covenant Health.

Join Carole Stonebridge, Principal Research Associate in the Conference Board's Health Policy and Economics group and Dr. Konrad Fassbender, Scientific Director, Palliative Institute, Covenant Health, as they present detailed findings from the report at a live webinar on May 31, 2017 at 03:00 PM EDT.

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A copy of the report is provided for reporting purposes only. Please do not redistribute it or post it online in any form.

For those interested in broadcast-quality interviews for your station, network, or online site, The Conference Board of Canada has a studio capable of double-ender interviews (line fees apply), or we can send you pre-taped clips upon request.

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SOURCE Conference Board of Canada

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