Funding will support high-quality palliative care for individuals and families
TORONTO — The Ontario government is investing up to $23 million in hospice residences across the province to help them continue to provide high-quality, compassionate end-of-life services and care to people and their loved ones. This funding is a part of the government’s comprehensive plan to end hallway health care, ensuring that people can access high-quality care in the right settings now and in the future.
“As part of our plan to end hallway health care, our government is building capacity to create an integrated health care system centred around the needs of patients, families and caregivers, including compassionate end-of-life care,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “This funding will help Ontarians receive the respect, dignity and care they deserve at every stage of their lives, while ensuring the province’s hospices have the tools they need to continue to provide high-quality care throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Hospice palliative care plays a vital role in Ontario’s health care system, providing people with additional options for high-quality end-of-life care outside of hospitals. This investment will be used to help hospice residences and compassionate care facilities address additional costs associated with COVID-19, including the procurement of personal protective equipment. This is in addition to the province’s annual investment of over $74 million in palliative care, and ensures all eligible hospices receive a minimum increase of 30 per cent this year.
“We are grateful to the government for addressing the unique financial pressure created by COVID-19. This funding will address increased costs incurred during COVID-19, many of which will be ongoing,” says Rick Firth, President and CEO of Hospice Palliative Care Ontario. “We continue to work closely with the government to create a more sustainable funding model for hospices and ensure that this much needed and highly valued service is available in communities across Ontario, especially as our population ages and heads toward end of life.”
Since 2018, the Ontario government has invested $40 million to add over 200 new hospice beds across the province that support high-quality care for more than 7,000 additional patients per year. Once opened, these beds will be supported by an annual investment of $23 million in operating funding. To date, 149 beds have been opened and are supported by $15.5 million in annual funding from the province.
- The province has increased its dedicated investments in hospice expansion and palliative care quality improvement initiatives from $67 million in 2018 to over $74 million in 2021. This represents a 10.5 per cent increase.
- Hospices provide compassionate end-of-life services to people and families in their communities. Services can include 24/7 professional nursing and personal support services, caregiver supports, and pain and symptom management.