Canada Health Act should cover palliative care

The government should identify hospice palliative care as a defined medical service to be covered under the Canada Health Act, according to Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing MP, Carol Hughes.

Hughes delivered a petition on the subject in the House of Commons Tuesday, making the case for residents of her constituency who are passionate about the issue.

“Hospice palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life for patients and their families as they face the problems associated with life-threatening illness,” said Hughes. “These services provide relief from pain and other distressing symptoms while affirming life and regarding dying as a natural and normal process”.

Hughes told the Commons that hospice palliative care does not seek to hasten or postpone death, but does so much to help with pain as well as other physical and psychological problems patients and their loved ones must deal with.

“For these reasons they ask the government to do the compassionate thing and have hospice palliative care covered by the Canada Health Act so it is available to all Canadians when and where they need it,” said Hughes.