Palliative care is a critical part of Canada’s health care system as it helps improve the quality of life for as long as possible. Advance Care Planning (ACP) is a process that focuses on thinking about your values and wishes and letting others know what kind of care you would want in the future. The Government of Canada is committed to raising awareness about ACP and removing barriers that many face in accessing the care they need.
As part of National AccessAbility Week, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, announced over $1.4 million in funding over two years to the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA) to make ACP resources more universally accessible. This funding will specifically support the Making ACP More Accessible for Canadians with Disabilities project.
This project will identify accessibility gaps and information needs for persons with disabilities, their caregivers and the organizations that support them. It also aims to develop and disseminate accessible ACP tools and resources aimed at addressing barriers faced by disability communities and increase their awareness of ACP.
The Government of Canada is working with provinces and territories, people with serious illnesses and disabilities, caregivers, partners, and communities to improve the quality and availability of palliative care for everyone in Canada, including those who are most vulnerable. This work includes developing a Framework and implementing the Action Plan on Palliative Care. Key commitments of the Action Plan include:
- raising awareness about palliative care and grief,
- improving palliative care skills and supports for health care providers and others,
- enhancing data and research;
- improving access for underserved populations; and,
- improving access to culturally sensitive palliative care for Indigenous communities.
As part of these efforts, Health Canada launched a public education campaign in March 2023 to raise awareness of palliative care and grief for providers who are not palliative specialists. Phase II will launch in Summer 2023 and will broaden the audience to reach people living with a serious illness and their families. Together, with all partners, we will keep working to ensure everyone gets the care they deserve.
“People with serious illness or approaching the end of life deserve the best quality of care and support that we can offer. Our government understands the vital role that palliative and end-of-life care play in the lives of many across the country. Organizations like the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association are doing important work ensuring Canadians with disabilities can access advance care planning resources when preparing for their future health care. We will keep working to improve access to quality health care services, including palliative care, for everyone when and where they need them.”
The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health
“I am glad to see work underway to make palliative care more accessible to, and inclusive of, persons with disabilities. It is critically important that persons with disabilities are able to have informed conversations with their loved ones about the kind of care they want and have access to high-quality, barrier-free palliative care if they require it.”
The Honourable Carla Qualtrough
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion
‘’All seniors deserve high quality and safe care. Seniors living with disabilities and their caregivers have unique needs and concerns when it comes to advance care planning. Through this funding, the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association will play an important role in ensuring that seniors living with disabilities, and their caregivers have improved access to the resources and support they need to make informed decisions about their care. Our government will continue to empower seniors and their caregivers to make these critical decisions about their health and personal well-being.”
The Honourable Kamal Khera
Minister of Seniors
“This funding and project will enable the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association to provide accessible tools and information on advance care planning that meet the various needs of people with disabilities and their caregivers. By providing this vital information through accessible resources, we hope to empower more people with disabilities across Canada to have an active voice in shaping their future health and personal care.”
CEO, Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA)
- The Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA), established in 1991, is a leader in Canada with respect to promoting and facilitating ACP as well as hospice palliative care (HPC). The CHPCA provides leadership to all provincial and territorial associations and over 600 HPC programs and services across Canada.
- Budget 2021 provided $29.8 million to advance the Action Plan on Palliative Care and help build a better foundation for coordinated action on long-term and supportive care needs. Investment in the development and dissemination of ACP materials is part of the implementation of the Action Plan.
- Recently, the Government of Canada announced $2 million in funding over four years to Healthcare Excellence Canada (HEC) to improve access to palliative care for persons who are experiencing homelessness or are vulnerably unhoused. This funding allows HEC to work with partner organizations such as the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, to help improve the delivery of palliative care services so that everyone can receive safe, timely, appropriate care in the place of their choosing.