Innovations in palliative care could improve access for Canadians

Categories: Care.

Dr. Jose Pereira, scientific officer of Pallium Canada and director of research at the College of Family Physicians of Canada, told Global News health care workers don’t get enough training in the essentials of palliative care, leaving patients to wait for specialists.

“Most of the patients do not experience very, very complicated issues,” said Pereira. “So, they can benefit from palliative care earlier in the illness provided by these professionals.”

His organization, Pallium Canada, which is funded by the federal government, has developed a specialized course called Learning Essential Approaches to Palliative and End-of-Life Care (LEAP). Since 2014, some 8000 doctors, nurses, pharmacists, social workers and other health care workers have been trained across the country.

“So what you’re seeing is scaling up,” said Pereira. “We believe we can increase access significantly.”

According to the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association, only 16-30 per cent of Canadians currently have access to palliative care.

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