Province Strengthens End-Of-Life Care With $75 Million Investment
Ontario Developing Comprehensive Strategy on Palliative and End-Of-Life Care
As part of the 2016 Budget, Ontario is proposing to invest an additional $75 million over three years to provide patients with more options and access to palliative and end-of-life care.
This investment would improve community-based hospice and palliative care services including:
Supporting up to 20 new hospices across Ontario and increasing the funding for existing facilities
Increasing supports for caregivers that will help families and loved ones support palliative patients at home and in the community
Promoting advance care planning so that families and health care providers understand patients’ wishes for end-of-life care
Establishing the Ontario Palliative Care Network, a new body to advance patient-centred care and develop provincial standards to strengthen services.
The province is also partnering with Hospice Palliative Care Ontario to provide training and support to new hospice volunteers each year. A new online training system will give volunteers throughout Ontario better access to standardized training and tools, which will be especially beneficial for rural and remote communities.
Ontario is also releasing the Palliative and End-of-Life Care Provincial Roundtable Report, which compiles feedback from recent consultations led by John Fraser, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. The consultations included 16 roundtables with more than 325 stakeholders across the province, including patients, families, doctors, nurses and health system leaders. The Roundtable Report will help Ontario develop a comprehensive strategy on palliative and end-of-life care, which will focus on supporting families and caregivers, and ensuring access to coordinated quality care where patients want it.
Improving palliative care is part of the government’s plan to build a better Ontario through its Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care, which is providing patients with faster access to the right care, better home and community care, the information they need to stay healthy and a health care system that’s sustainable for generations to come. It is also part of Ontario’s Patients First: Roadmap to Strengthen Home and Community Care, which is the government’s plan to improve and expand home and community care over the next three years.
“Ensuring that patients and families across the province have access to compassionate and high-quality palliative care is critical at this very important and challenging time of their lives. Our goal is to build on Ontario’s strong network of providers and volunteers who make an enormous difference to the palliative care patients receive.”
— John Fraser, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
“The government’s investments demonstrate an understanding that community hospice palliative care is cost effective and desirable care. Hospice palliative care is a holistic approach supporting patients and their families from diagnosis to end-of-life. Medical, practical, psychosocial and spiritual supports are provided at home and, when needed, in a home-like residential hospice. The government’s collaborative approach is helping community organizations to deliver quality care that people want and need.”
— Rick Firth, President and CEO, Hospice Palliative Care Ontario
“The Ontario Palliative Care Network will work with partners to ensure patients receive high-quality, high-value care that is centred around their needs. We look forward to supporting an integrated and seamless palliative care system for all Ontarians.”
— Michael Sherar, President and CEO of Cancer Care Ontario
“It is imperative that the overall system be designed to improve access, coordination and quality, so that patients have outstanding palliative care, and families and caregivers have adequate fundamental support. We look forward to the transformation derived from ongoing and new partnerships that will strengthen palliative care at a regional and provincial level.”
— Bill MacLeod, CEO, Mississauga Halton Local Health Integration Network
§ With the 2016 Ontario Budget investment of $75 million over three years, the province will invest a total of $155 million in hospice and palliative care over the next three years.
§ Ontario currently provides funding for 34 hospices across the province and is committed to supporting up to 20 additional hospices.
§ Last year, 13,500 hospice volunteers supported more than 17,000 in-home clients and 4,000 people near the end of their lives. On average, for each hospice client served, five family members are also supported.
§ The Ontario Palliative Care Network, a partnership among Cancer Care Ontario, Ontario’s Local Health Integration Networks, Health Quality Ontario and other partners, includes members from diverse care settings and services such as patient groups, caregivers, clinical representatives and associations.