Palliative care training gets $3M in federal money

Federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose says Ottawa is investing $3 million in training frontline workers in hospice services.
A Senate report from 2010 said upwards of 70 per cent of Canadians do not have access to specialized end-of-life care. (M. Spencer Green/Associated Press)

The federal government is investing another $3 million into palliative care services over the next three years, Health Minister Rona Ambrose announced Thursday.

The funding goes to the Pallium Foundation of Canada and was promised in the 2013 federal budget.

The foundation provides educational tools to agencies that deliver hospice, or end-of-life, care.

Ambrose said the money will help train frontline healthcare workers and is "critical to ease the strain on families."
She said the government has put $43 million into palliative care research in the past eight years.

Only 16 to 30 per cent of Canadians who die have access to or received hospice palliative and end-of-life care services, depending on where they live in Canada, according to a 2007 report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

A Senate report from 2010 came to a similar conclusion.

"The evolution of palliative care is being profoundly affected by the increase in chronic diseases," the report said. "Combined with an aging population, the system is being stretched and tested as never before. There are at least 70 per cent of Canadians who do not have access to palliative care."