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Palliative Care Town Hall-Ottawa

09 Jul 2015 3:40 PM | CAGP (Administrator)

I’d like to thank Dr Rabehru and the Canadian Psychiatric Association for joining our town hall on Palliative and End of Life Care that we cohosted with the Centertown United Church and Ottawa Center NDP. We had a great public discussion that also included Dr. Jeff Blackmer of the Canadian Medical Association and Maryse Bouvette of the Canadian Nurses Association on our panel.

In holding these town halls across Canada, it has been amazing to hear the diversity and depth of Canadians experience and expertise in end of life care. Let’s face it. Every Canadian has in some way brushed up against death in their life and the process by which our country manages it. These town halls have provided an important space to share these stories and build a national conversation.

Just last year your work was instrumental in creating the necessary pressure to get Parliament to pass my motion calling for a Pan-Canadian Strategy for palliative and end of life care. It was an important moment where Parliament put asides its cynical partisan politics to agree on a strong federal role in public health. As parliamentarians we came together to agree that as Canada's ageing population puts unique stresses on our medical system, we must act on the increasingly important need for a coherent strategy for palliative and end of life care.

Since passing the motion, we have seen little action from this government despite a Supreme Court ruling on medical aid in dying. That is one of the reasons these town halls are so important. We need to engage Canadians on this issue to keep developing a national conversation. We need to keep doing the hard work, to have these conversations and put palliative and end of life care on Canadians radar. And we need to keep the government to its commitment to keep improving these services to ensure that we fix the cracks and spread best practices.

Palliative care is about patient and family centered care. It creates a more cost-effective health care system that focuses on turning traumatic moments into healing moments for families and loved ones. As a New Democrat, I know that working on this common sense solution means better health care that meets our most human needs. I thank you for your help and continuing the national dialogue on the importance of palliative care and I look forward to keep working with you.

Charlie Angus

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