“Ontario is on the cusp of a revolution in the way the province offers palliative care, but the plan hinges on government support.” Palliative care experts agree that with a population of seniors that’s predicted to double in size by 2036, and a funding model for residential hospice care that relies primarily on charity, the system just isn’t sustainable.
Currently, according to the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association, only 16% to 36% of Canadians have access to hospice palliative care and end-of-life services, depending on where they live. Even though most Canadians would prefer to die at home, 75% of deaths occur in hospital. Meanwhile, many residential hospices in Ontario are forced to draw more than half of their operating costs from fundraising drives and charitable donations.
Urgent action is required as the population continues to age, and an investment in hospice beds can reduce the burden on emergency rooms and the provincial budget alike.