Home > News Room > News Releases > 2019 > The CNA and the CHPCNG release a joint statement on Health Canada’s Action Plan on Palliative Care

The CNA and the CHPCNG release a joint statement on Health Canada’s Action Plan on Palliative Care

Ottawa, August 27, 2019 – Health Canada has released its Action Plan on Palliative Care. The five-year plan tackles issues that were uncovered through the development of the Framework on Palliative Care in Canada Act that was passed by Parliament in 2017.

Claire Betker, president of the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA), and Julia Johnston, president of the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Nurses Group (CHPCNG), released the following joint statement on the action plan:

“Health Canada’s Action Plan on Palliative Care is a positive step towards improving quality of life for people living with life-limiting illnesses. CNA has long advocated for high-quality palliative care accessible to all people in Canada, in settings that best suit each individual and their families’ needs,” said Claire Betker, president of CNA. “We have worked closely with the Government of Canada over the past few years on this issue and are pleased to see the federal government moving the needle on palliative care,” added Betker.

“The Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Nurses Group welcomes this much awaited action plan to support integration of accessible, person centered palliative care from coast to coast to coast in Canada”, stated Julia Johnston, president of CHPCNG. “We have collaborated on this important work and look forward to supporting the federal government through development and full implementation”, commented Johnston.

“The federal government has an important leadership role to play in this area and must increase investments in palliative care across Canada. We strongly support investments in technology-enabled virtual care beyond hospital walls, including the scale-up and spread of existing technologies in homes and communities. Virtual care enables people, especially those in rural and remote communities, to access health services including palliative care while remaining close to their home, families and community,” said Betker.

"We believe palliative care is a basic human right for all Canadians no matter where they live or where they choose to access care. We support building capacity for all healthcare disciplines to contribute to the provision of high-quality palliative care and strengthening communities to support people with palliative care needs, and their families. The federal government must ensure family caregivers are able to care for their loved ones without undue financial hardship and with the supports they require,” said Johnston.

Nurses are the largest group of health-care providers in Canada and play an essential role in developing and implementing a palliative approach to care. CNA and the CHPCNG look forward to working with all key partners to expand upon and implement the federal government’s action plan.


The Canadian Nurses Association is the national and global professional voice of Canadian nursing, representing 135,000 nurses in all 13 jurisdictions across Canada. CNA advances the practice and profession of nursing to improve health outcomes and strengthen Canada’s publicly funded, not-for-profit health system.

For more information, please contact:

Eve Johnston
Media and Communications Coordinator
Canadian Nurses Association
Tel: 613-237-2159, ext. 114
Cell: 613-282-7859
Email: ejohnston@cna-aiic.ca

Julia Johnston
Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Nurses Group
Email: juliajohnston@rogers.com