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Canadian nurses look forward to helping health minister implement framework to improve palliative care

Ottawa, December 5, 2018 – Claire Betker, president of the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA), and Julia Johnston, president of the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Nurses Group (CHPCNG), issued the following joint statement on the new federal Framework on Palliative Care in Canada. The framework was tabled on December 4 by Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor and set out a vision for improving access to palliative care in Canada:

“Our national organizations commend the health minister for tabling the new framework. CNA and CHPCNG have been anticipating this day for quite some time. We appreciated the opportunity to be part of the face-to-face meeting of stakeholders that took place in September 2018.

“We’re pleased that the new framework sets out the federal government’s plan for improving access to palliative care across Canada. The framework builds on the seminal work of Marilyn Gladu, the shadow health minister and Conservative MP who sponsored Bill C-277, An Act Providing for the Development of a Framework on Palliative Care in Canada. Gladu’s private member’s bill was first tabled in the House of Commons in May 2016 and passed into law in December 2017.

“We’re delighted to see that the framework sets out the creation of the federal office of palliative care to ‘provide high level coordination of activities going forward.’ The office, which will connect with stakeholders to ensure consistency of standards in palliative care, is consistent with one of CNA’s key recommendations — that the health minister re-establish the secretariat on palliative and end-of-life care.

“CNA was also pleased to see that the framework acknowledges several best practices, including the importance of obtaining CNA certification in hospice palliative care.

“We encourage the federal government to provide targeted investments for new and existing programs to improve and standardize palliative care. We also anticipate that provincial and territorial governments will provide new investments as a result of bilateral agreements with the federal government.

“The federal government and opposition parties have a unique opportunity to act on the new framework. New funding is required to support the development of palliative care competencies for all health-care providers, including nurses, and associated practice standards.”



In September 2018, CNA CEO Mike Villeneuve, in collaboration with CHPCNG, appeared before the House of Commons standing committee on finance for its pre-budget consultation hearing to inform the committee of two key recommendations to improve access to palliative care. Read CNA’s submission [PDF, 172.9 KB].

In 2017, prior to the passage and royal assent of Bill C-277, CNA appeared before two parliamentary committees:

The Canadian Nurses Association is the national and global professional voice of Canadian nursing, 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.

The Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Nurses Group represents hospice palliative care nurses from across Canada and shares ideas, strategies and solutions, proposals, assessment tools, research findings, educational opportunities, etc., with other nurses across the country who integrate a palliative approach to care with their patient populations.

For more information, please contact:

David Granovsky
Lead, Government Relations
Canadian Nurses Association
Tel: 613-237-2159, ext. 525
Cell: 613-697-7497
Email: dgranovsky@cna-aiic.ca