Canada is Working Towards a National Palliative Care Strategy

In a recent Op-Ed for the Huffington Post, MP Charlie Angus articulated the need for a unified national approach to hospice and palliative care. Work on this strategy began in earnest this past spring, when the Parliament of Canada supported the New Democrat Motion 456 on establishing a pan-Canadian palliative care strategy.

“We have all lost a family member or loved one,” Angus writes. “How those loved ones were treated in their final days – whether through a holistic palliative service or while waiting for a bed in an emergency unit – profoundly impacts how we approach this issue.”

Federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose has also acknowledged that Canada needs to do better when caring for people who are dying – and she has pledged to make that goal a priority.

“I think the starting point for me is that we still don’t have the best elderly care and palliative care yet,” Ambrose told the CBC. “So let’s talk about making sure we have the best end-of-life care before we start talking about assisted suicide and euthanasia.”

“Our parliamentary initiative is about putting the federal government back into the discussion on health,” Angus writes, “not as an overlord but as a partner seeking solutions… All of us need to continue pushing parliamentarians to follow through to make this strategy a reality.”