A new Bill adopted in Ontario will prioritize compassionate and timely palliative care for people with a life-altering illness like cancer. Bill 3, Compassionate Care Act, 2020, passed unopposed and develops a framework to ensure every Ontarian has access to quality palliative care in the setting of their choice including hospice facilities, hospitals, long-term care and in their own homes.
The Canadian Cancer Society worked to ensure that the Bill included an expansive definition of palliative care that goes beyond recognizing palliative care as something valued only at end of life. With this broader definition, CCS aimed to ensure Ontarians receive quality palliative care early in their diagnoses as needed rather than only at end of life. “As the voice for Canadians who care about cancer, we know support and consistent, quality care from diagnosis through to survivorship or end of life is vital,” said Stephen Piazza, Manager of Advocacy for the Canadian Cancer Society. “We are grateful to have the opportunity to collaborate with government and MPPs in Ontario on this important legislative change, which is a major step forward for quality palliative care in the country.”
The Compassionate Care Act mandates that the Minister of Health begin consulting stakeholders on the development of a framework within six months of the Bill becoming law. Among other things, the framework will identify palliative care training and education needs of health care providers, identify measures to support palliative care providers, identify research and common data elements on palliative care, and take into consideration the needs of specific patient populations, including pediatric patients.
“By taking steps to establish a framework for quality palliative care, Ontario is quickly becoming a leader on this issue in Canada,” said Helena Sonea, Senior Manager of Advocacy at the Canadian Cancer Society. “We will be working with other provinces to establish a legislative framework for palliative care to ensure everyone receives quality, consistent care no matter where they live in Canada.”
The Canadian Cancer Society looks forward to continuing to work with the government to further developed the palliative care framework in Ontario and will keep advocating for similar frameworks in provinces across the country.
About the Canadian Cancer Society
The Canadian Cancer Society is the only national charity that supports Canadians with all cancers in communities across the country. No other organization does what we do; we are the voice for Canadians who care about cancer. We fund groundbreaking research, provide a support system for all those affected by cancer and shape health policies to prevent cancer and support those living with the disease.
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