Ontario Bill 3,An Act providing for the development of a provincial framework on palliative care passed third reading in the Ontario legislature and will become law. The purpose of the Act is to develop a framework to ensure that every Ontarian has access to quality palliative care. The Act requires the Minister of Health to develop a provincial framework designed to support improved access to palliative care. The Minister must table a report setting out the provincial framework in the Legislative Assembly within one year after the Bill comes into force. Within three years after the report is tabled, the Minister must prepare and table a report on the state palliative care in Ontario. Each report must be published on a Government of Ontario website.
Passing of the law sets a positive precedent for other provinces and shows demonstrate provincial government support for palliative care. The Bill was supported by 40 stakeholders, including Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians, Canadian Cancer Society, Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association, ALS Canada, and health professionals from across the province.
(March 4, 2019) Recently-released Model Standards for Pharmacy Compounding for Non-Hazardous Sterile Preparations from the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA) stipulate that community pharmacies must use a Before Use Date of twelve hours for pre-filled medication syringes. This significantly affects our ability to provide care for patients with palliative care needs in the home, especially at end of life.
The CSPCP and Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association jointly wrote to NAPRA on February 19, 2019, requesting an exception to this standard for palliative care. The letter describes the reasons why care is affected and what the impact is for patients, caregivers, and health care providers. Copies of the letter were sent to Health Canada, to their federal/provincial/territorial/palliative care group, and to the heads of the provincial Sections of Palliative Medicine.
Read the letter
Response from NAPRA
Representatives from the Palliative 4 Canadians (P4C) group met with Health Canada on January 30, 2019 to begin discussing implementation of the national Framework on Palliative Care in Canada. The Framework was tabled in parliament on December 4, 2018 by the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, federal Minister of Health, after a year-long consultation with many stakeholders including the CSPCP. Health Canada reported that they will now develop a Framework implementation plan that aims to action the guiding principles and goals reflected in the Framework. Their goal is to have the plan ready by late Spring 2019. Health Canada also plans to establish an Office of Palliative Care to provide high level coordination of palliative care activities going forward. P4C shared suggestions on how the Office could be structured to optimize efficiency and results.
We look forward to seeing how the implementation unfolds and the CSPCP will continue to be an active partner. It is heartening to have federal politicians and Health Canada assist all of us with improving palliative care for all Canadians.
*Canada’s four national palliative care organizations – CSPCP, CHPCA, Canadian Virtual Hospice and Pallium Canada
CSPCP President Dr. David Henderson will present to the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology on October 19, 2017. He will advocate for acceptance of Bill C-277 on behalf of the CSPCP.
Dr. Henderson recommends that the Federal Government “Establish a well funded secretariat and form a small nimble high level working group made up from key national organizations to start working on implementation. Focus needs to be on administrative cost containment so funds see their way to delivery of services!” Links to his presentation are below.