Federal Funding Announced to Improve Palliative and End-of-Life Care

Categories: Policy.

The federal government has committed to helping ensure Canadians receive the compassionate care they need. The Pallium Foundation of Canada works to improve the quality of palliative and end-of-life care for Canadians by creating educational resources for primary care professionals. Economic Action Plan 2013 proposed funding of $3 million over three years to Pallium Canada to develop palliative care training for front-line health care providers. This investment builds on the funding provided in Budget 2011 that is being used to support The Way Forward: Moving Towards Community-Integrated Hospice Palliative Care in Canada initiative, which aims to help develop new community-integrated palliative care models across Canada.

Pallium Canada is a national palliative education community of practice, created to advance education by improving the quality of knowledge in hospice palliative care, and by increasing capacity of individuals, institutions and other organizations to provide hospice palliative care services, community supports and resources.

Pallium Canada recently relocated to operate out of Bruyère Continuing Care, where collaborations in the palliative care research and education community are currently being built and strengthened. Pallium Canada co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. José Pereira, who is also Medical Chief of Palliative Medicine at Bruyère Continuing Care, says “Bruyère was the ideal place for Pallium to relocate. We are now better able to enhance our engagement with national policymakers in partnership with organizations that have a common goal of improving the quality of hospice‑palliative care in Canada.”

Pallium Canada will deliver priority health provider capacity building and public engagement strategies essential to meeting the urgent and emerging needs for growing numbers of Canadians living with chronic life-limiting conditions across rural, remote and urban settings and populations, including Aboriginals.  The palliative care philosophy is person-centred, family focused, and community based. The 2011 Parliamentary Committee on Palliative and Compassionate Care Report states that currently only 16-30% of Canadians requiring palliative care receive it.

Vast regions of Canada lack palliative care programs, leaving many Canadians vulnerable. In Ottawa alone there are 13 palliative care beds, yet this is 75% short of the current requirement. Pallium Canada will leverage and strengthen the community of clinicians, carers, educators, academics, administrators, volunteers, citizens and other partners who are working together throughout Canada to build palliative and end-of-life capacity as part of a sustainable health care system.

The Pallium Foundation of Canada (Pallium Canada) fosters a collaborative approach to the education, engagement and standardization of palliative care in Canada. Phase III of Pallium recently launched a renewal of existing legacies and development of newer modules/ thematics/knowledge transfer approaches supported through a generous private donation by the Gillin Family. Pallium Phase I brought palliative care resources to interprofessional, front-line health care providers; primarily medical doctors, nurses and pharmacists working in rural communities in the Canadian prairies. A federal grant advanced Phase II to expand across Canada, educating over five hundred health professionals in seventy-two learning projects. Pallium Canada resources include the Pallium Palliative Pocketbook, a peer-reviewed resource guide for clinical practitioners, and the Learning Essential Approaches to Palliative and End of Life Care (LEAP) program, the only Canada-wide, palliative care course aimed at interprofessional palliative care education. It is intended that with federal funding, Pallium Canada, will further strengthen its engagement and collaboration with other agencies in Canada and Internationally in the best interests of Canadians.

For more information, please contact Dr. Kathryn Downer, National Director at 613-562-6262 x 1230 or at kdowner@pallium.ca.