Consensus has been reached.
How Canada’s Health System needs to change to support people through illness or when dying.

At a national Consensus Development Conference held in Ottawa November 7-9, 2016, a lay panel of Canadians examine public opinion research questioned experts on how quality palliative care could be delivered.  The panel concluded that palliative care must become an insured service under the Canada Health Act and made 20 specific recommendations:

  • The Canada Health Act be amended to include integrated, palliative home care with portable universal access and support for patients and caregivers, customized to patients’ medical and psycho-social needs;
     
  • The federal government provide substantial and sustained funding for the development of a national strategy, including capacity building, standards development and monitoring, and research;
     
  • Every physician in Canada be able to provide basic palliative care and that accrediting and licensing bodies and professional colleges ensure competencies are taught and tested; and
     
  • A wide-spread public awareness campaign about palliative care support the implementation of a national palliative care strategy.

View the consensus statement and its 20 recommendations here.

What is Palliative Care Matters?

Sooner or later, most Canadians will need palliative care for themselves or someone they love. The problem is that finding this care is not a sure thing in Canada. We don’t have a national strategy and not all Canadians can access the care they need for themselves or their loved ones.

We need to ensure that palliative care becomes part of Canada’s universal healthcare model.

That’s why Covenant Health has joined with many of Canada’s leading national health organizations and experts in palliative care and health policy to lead this initiative. The initiative is being co-chaired by Karen Macmillan, Senior Operating Officer and Executive Lead for Palliative Care, Covenant Health and Fred Horne, former Alberta health minister and health policy advisor.

What are we doing?

  • WE LISTENED! Palliative Care Matters began by listening to Canadians. Over the summer of 2016, we worked with Ipsos, a national public research and engagement firm, to find out what Canadians think, discover which services and supports they value most and understand their views on access and best approaches to palliative care.  

    Read the Ipsos Report here.
     
  • WE REACHED CONSENSUS! We brought what we heard from Canadians to a national Consensus Development Conference which was held in Ottawa November 7-9, 2016. At the conference, a lay panel of interested Canadians deliberated on what they heard from Canadians, and listened to and questioned experts on how quality palliative care could be delivered. This Lay Panel, chaired by Don Newman, former broadcaster and public affairs consultant, reflected on what they learned and then developed a national consensus statement on palliative care.  

    Read the Consensus Statement here.

What's Next?

  • POLICY OPTIONS AND IMPLEMENTATION PLANS. The consensus statement is at the heart of a road map for Canada. The Conference Board of Canada has prepared a report outlining potential policy options and implementation plans to guide governments, health care organizations, professionals and other stakeholders.
     

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Canada is at a turning point when it comes to palliative care. We need a national strategy so that everyone can access timely, quality care in the last phase of their life. 

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