Parties and Stakeholders Work Together to Improve Access and Quality in Palliative Care
A News Release from the Constituency Office of Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff
Posted December 2nd, 2020 on Niagara At Large
Queen’s Park – Today (this December 1st), Bill 3, the Compassionate Care Act passed Third Reading unanimously in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Originally tabled in 2017, MPP Sam Oosterhoff’s first Private Member’s Bill will become a law upon Royal Assent. This follows the re-introduction of the bill in July 2018 during the 42nd Parliament of Ontario.
Public committee hearings took place on November 23 and 24, during which 40 stakeholders testified in favour of the bill, including the Ontario Medical Association, Canadian Cancer Society, Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians, Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association, ALS Canada, and health professionals from across the province.
Witnesses at the hearings stressed the timeliness and importance of the Compassionate Care Act, which mandates the creation of a provincial framework to improve access to palliative care in hospitals, long-term care homes, hospices and home care.
The framework will identify much-needed measures to facilitate consistent access to palliative care across Ontario, as well as supports for palliative care providers. It will also provide a necessary focus on palliative care training for health care providers and caregivers.
The all-party committee adopted amendments suggested by stakeholders, including reducing the report back time, adding a focus on underserved populations, and emphasizing the need to consider specific patient populations, including pediatric patients.
“This law demonstrates the commitment of the Government of Ontario to provide truly holistic and humanizing care for those at the end-of-life and those with serious illness, regardless of age” said MPP Oosterhoff. “I cannot tell you how grateful I am for the meaningful contributions made by members of all parties of the Legislature and above all, to the many dedicated frontline health care professionals, who make compassionate care possible everyday.”
“Congratulations to everyone who came together to pass the Compassionate Care Act to help ensure that patients receive the care, dignity and respect they deserve in every stage of their life,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “The province-wide framework that will be developed as a result of this Act will ensure that more patients and families have improved access to high-quality palliative care when they need it and support health care workers and caregivers in their efforts to deliver this important care.”
“Palliative care improves quality of life. This Bill creates momentum to build access to care that will help people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds to live well from diagnosis to end of life.
Thank you to MPP Oosterhoff for this bill, which provides the necessary impetus and accountability to ensure we’re delivering truly compassionate care. HPCO looks forward to continuing to work with the Minister of Health to help provide access to quality palliative care for all Ontarians” – Rick Firth, President and CEO of Hospice Palliative Care Ontario.
“COVID-19 has put a focus on the importance of quality end-of-life care even more so this year. It has highlighted the important need for families to be together and supported as they say goodbye. That is what palliative care delivers. We at McNally House Hospice deeply appreciate MPP Oosterhoff’s support and advocacy. His bill will help ensure that governments going forward continue to work with communities like West Niagara to meet an inevitably growing demand for compassionate care.” – Pamela Blackwood, Executive Director, McNally House Hospice
The Compassionate Care Act is available here: https://www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/bills/parliament-42/session-1/bill-3
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