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In September 2020, the province announced $20 million for palliative and end-of-life care initiatives. Since then, Alberta’s government has invested almost $9 million for new projects such as community hospice care, and education and training for health professionals.
The new grant program will use the remaining $11 million for projects that support four priority recommendations in the Advancing Palliative and End-of-Life Care in Alberta final report. These priorities include earlier access, education and training, community supports and services, and research and innovation.
“Accessible and compassionate palliative care requires a holistic approach from diagnosis to end of life. We’re thankful for the health providers, researchers, educators, community organizations and volunteers that make compassionate care a truly ‘whole of society’ effort. This announcement brings us closer to keeping our promise to provide quality palliative care that eases suffering and supports families.”
“Palliative and end-of-life care must start as early as possible for individuals with a life-limiting illness. We must support them in familiar settings for as long as possible, in their homes and communities alongside their families and caregivers. Funding projects that enable this will lead to better palliative care supports and services for Albertans.”
The deadline for submissions is Jan. 7, 2022, for eligible applicants. The application form, eligibility criteria and program guidelines are available online at Palliative and end-of-life care grant fund on alberta.ca.
Dan Williams, MLA for Peace River, was appointed to consult with palliative and end-of-life care Albertans and interest groups to gain further insights into the palliative care system, provide recommendations for the remaining $11 million in funding, as well as provide the final report to government.
“Covenant Health applauds the Alberta government’s continued commitment to promoting excellence in palliative and end-of-life-care in Alberta. Through these investments, we will be able to assist seriously ill Albertans and their families when they are at their most vulnerable and facing many decisions about their care and personal wishes, now and for the future.”
“AHPCA is encouraged that this program will generate palliative and end-of-life care projects that will fit the unique needs of Alberta communities. Funding will spark improved local supports for families. Equitable access to palliative and end-of-life care is the right of all Albertans.”
“Expanding awareness and understanding of palliative care and dementia across the community and the health-care system is essential. Our organization participated in the engagement process and the new grant program offers opportunities to develop projects that can improve the accessibility of appropriate care for people with dementia.”
- Palliative and end-of-life care is specialized medical care for adults and children diagnosed with a life-limiting illness.
- One of the government’s priorities is to enhance the palliative care system for Albertans, such as expanding supports for individuals and their families in their homes and communities.
- The new grant program will be targeted to address the following priority outcomes:
- Albertans have earlier access to high-quality care upon diagnosis of their condition.
- Health-care providers, families, caregivers and volunteers have increased capacity to provide care and supports.
- Albertans have access to palliative and end-of-life care in their setting of choice.
- Academics, health service providers and community organizations will engage in additional research to advance navigation and care pathways.
- To date, the government has invested almost $9 million of the total $20 million.
- More than $6.5 million to Covenant Health for public awareness initiatives, such as advance care planning and developing education for health-care providers.
- More than $1 million to the Alberta Hospice Palliative Care Association for in-person and online support groups for Albertans with a terminal illness, a telephone grief support service and expansion of workshops on palliative care for Albertans.
- $1 million for the government-sponsored Palliative Coverage Program to cover the costs associated with pre-filling syringes for palliative clients.
- $150,000 to Pilgrim’s Hospice Society to advance community hospice care.
- The government eliminated copayments for end-of-life-drugs for palliative clients that choose to remain at home or in a hospice under the Palliative Coverage Program.
One of the government’s priorities is to transform the province’s continuing care system to be more responsive to the needs of Albertans, which includes palliative and end-of-life care. Work is underway to expand home and community care, implementing recommended actions from the review of continuing care homes and new streamlined continuing care legislation.