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Moving Towards Community-Integrated Hospice Palliative Care in Canada

Author: The Way Forward Integration Initiative
30 September 2012

On June 12, 2012, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, announced the three year initiative The Way Forward: Moving Towards Community-Integrated Hospice Palliative Care in Canada.

The Government of Canada is providing one-time funding from a Budget 2011 commitment of $3 million to the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association and its partners to support the development of community-integrated palliative care models for the health care sector. Funding will be implemented through Health Canada’s Health Care Policy Contribution Program (HCPCP) - Health Care System Innovation Fund, which is designed to support the Government of Canada’s commitment to improving the health care system by fostering strategic and evidence-based decision-making and innovation in quality health care.

The Way Forward Integration Initiative (the Initiative), led by the Quality End-of-life Care Coalition of Canada (QELCCC) and managed by the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA) will engage all settings, sectors, professionals and governments in a dialogue regarding the implementation of community-integrated palliative and end-of-life care. Over the course of the Initiative, we will also encourage engagement and dialogue based upon sound evidence and promising practices. This will result in a Framework with targets and strategies that all stakeholders will have a hand in shaping, that therefore reflect their needs and challenges, and the ability to implement these strategies at all levels.

“As the population ages, the prevalence of chronic and life-limiting illnesses will increase. In response, Canada must work towards a system of community-integrated hospice palliative care,” said Sharon Baxter, Executive Director of the CHPCA. “This funding will help to ensure that hospice palliative care is available at the community level for those Canadians who are dying, as well as their families. It will also ensure that it is easily accessible as part of the continuum of care.” Hospice palliative care integration also means that the palliative approach to care must be part of the treatment repertoire of any health professional working in primary care, supported by consultation or referral to a specialist palliative care team when necessary.

The Initiative will advance an understanding of community-integrated palliative and end-of-life care by all stakeholders and will therefore ultimately transform the way Canadians receive care and the quality of their life and death.
It is time to move forward.
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