Palliative care stakeholder groups delighted by passage of C-277 at 3rd Reading

(June 5, 2017 – Ottawa, ON) The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) , the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA), the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians (CSPCP) and the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA) are pleased that Private Member's Bill C-277 "Act providing for the Development of a Framework on Palliative Care in Canada" was passed at 3rd reading in the House of Commons last week. 

CMA, CNA, CSPCP and CHPCA would like to thank Sarnia-Lambton Member of Parliament Marilyn Gladu for her tireless work on this issue, including her commitment to transcend partisan politics to in the greater interest of seeing a quality piece of legislation pass in the House of Commons. Broad support by Members of Parliament from every political party, from members of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health (HESA) and from the Minister of Health ensured that this important legislation was not allowed to die on the order paper.

"Everyone dies, yet access to palliative care in Canada remains inconsistent – and in far too many areas of the country – even non-existent,” said Dr. Granger Avery, the CMA President. “Canada’s doctors have pressed for a national strategy for palliative care to meet the needs of patients, as part of a comprehensive seniors strategy for Canada and we are encouraged that Bill C-277 will bring much-needed action.”
“As registered nurses and nurse practitioners play a fundamental role in the care of palliative patients, the Canadian Nurses Association was pleased to support and contribute‎ to the Health Committee's report on Ms. Gladu's important bill”, said Barb Shellian, president of the Canadian Nurses Association. “Several of our proposed amendments for the development of a national framework on palliative care in Canada were adopted. CNA will continue to work with governments and organizations in establishing high-quality palliative care, accessible to all Canadians, in settings that best suit each individual’s care needs.”

“Between 1995 and 2010 the Senate has produced 5 separate reports about the importance of palliative care,” said Dr. David Henderson, President of the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians. “Much great work has been done and yet we are still in desperate need of improved access to quality palliative care. It is time we all roll up our sleeves and make this happen. If all of our government can work together in collaboration with palliative care experts from across Canada and a strong primary care system we can do this. Our families deserve this care.”

“We are thrilled that this important bill was passed at 3rd reading,” said Sharon Baxter, Executive Director of the CHPCA. “We now look to the Senate to strongly support this initiative ensuring that a sound, pan-Canadian palliative care framework can be developed and implemented. As the national voice for hospice palliative care in Canada, the CHPCA is happy to see progress being made on the hospice palliative care policy front in Canada.”

With C-277 moving to the upper chamber for consideration and review, all four organizations call on the Government continue to show support for this important legislation and to commit to a fully-funded plan, recognizing the value of a palliative care framework for Canada.

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About the Canadian Medical Association
The CMA is a national, voluntary association of physicians and physicians-in-training. The CMA is a leader in engaging and serving physicians and is the national voice for the highest standards of health and health care.

About the Canadian Nurses Association
The Canadian Nurses Association is the national professional voice representing over 139,000 registered nurses and nurse practitioners in Canada. CNA advances the practice and profession of nursing to improve health outcomes and strengthen Canada’s publicly funded not-for-profit health system.

About the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians
The CSPCP is a membership organization composed of clinicians, educators, academics, researchers and specialists dedicated to the improvement of palliative care for patients and their families, though the advancement and improvement of palliative medicine and training. We promote access to high quality palliative care for all Canadians through advocacy, partnerships, research, and physician education.

About the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association
The Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA) is the national voice for hospice palliative care in Canada. It is a bilingual, national charitable non-profit association whose mission is the pursuit of excellence in care for persons approaching death so that the burdens of suffering, loneliness and grief are lessened.

For more information or to set up an interview, please contact:

CMA Media Relations:
Canadian Medical Association
613-806-1865
mediainquiries@cma.ca

Kevin Ménard
Communications Advisor
Canadian Nurses Association
613-266-8230
kmenard@cna-aiic.ca

Michelle Veer
Office Contact
Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians
(604) 341-3174
office@cspcp.ca

Sarah Levesque
Communications and Policy Advisor
Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association
613-241-3663 ext. 229
sarlevesque@chpca.net

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