“Critically ill Canadians are falling through the cracks when it comes to palliative care,” says a report by the Canadian Cancer Society. This kind of care is often provided too close to the end of life, and should be introduced earlier and progressively, it adds.
‘It’s a bit of a lottery’
Health care in Canada is funded by the Canadian government, but managed by each of the provinces and territories. The result is that services vary dramatically across the country.
“Right now, it’s a bit of a lottery,” says Andre Beaulieu, spokesperson for the Canadian Cancer Society. “If you’re lucky you may be living in a region or a province that provides palliative care services. But maybe someone living not that far from you may not have access to palliative care. So it’s very uneven and this is unacceptable.”Listen
Thousands not getting proper care, says cancer society
Thousands of critically ill Canadians are not receiving proper care, says Beaulieu and that hurts patients, their families, and it increases health care cost.
Canada ranks 27th in a comparison of 40 countries in terms of providing affordable end-of-life care, says the society. Only medically necessary hospital services are paid for by the government’s public health insurance system,it argues. The society suggests there be more home care services provided by government as well as improved support for caregivers. It also suggests improving training for healthcare providers.