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Bethell Hospice – Message to Queen’s Park regarding Hospice funding

“We’re all going to die, and we’re all losing loved ones. Now, more than ever, people need the right care in the right place at the end of life. And this support comes at a cost.” That was the message delivered to MPPs at Queen’s Park on Monday, October 31, from Hospice Palliative Care Ontario members, including Bethell Hospice Executive Director, Margaret Paan.

Hospice Palliative Care Ontario (HPCO) hosted a lunch hour meeting at the Ontario Legislative Building that addressed the elephant in the room – that people shy away from talking about dying, death and loss, even though they are universal experiences.

Hospices are funded in large part by community fundraising with Government now covering an average of 35% of current operating costs for hospice residences. As the Ontario government debates the current budget for 2023, it is imperative they understand the benefits to increased support for hospice palliative care. As everywhere, hospices have experienced a sharp increase in costs with no annualized Government funding increase since 2016.

The Auditor General, the Ontario Medical Association and HPCO have all warned that more hospices are needed to meet the growing demand for end-of-life care. HPCO says the Government can increase annual funding to hospices by $45M a year and still manage to reduce the cost of care by $200M by keeping people out of hospitals and in more comfortable and appropriate hospice settings.

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“Hospice is about helping people live well right to the end. Anyone who has experienced hospice care with a loved one knows that dying and loss need not be a frightening and negative experience, it can be a healing and memorable time “, said Hospice Palliative Care Ontario President and CEO Rick Firth. At Bethell Hospice, Government funding through the Ontario Ministry of Health covers only direct care medical staffing costs. Every other cost is funded directly from donations to reach the $1.5M needed to keep the doors open.

It is the hope of HPCO and every Ontario hospice that the government will step up and increase funding for those experiencing end-of-life care. In the meantime, Bethell Hospice is so grateful for every gift received from the community, especially at this time of year. Clearly the need is greater now more than ever.

The post Bethell Hospice – Message to Queen’s Park regarding Hospice funding appeared first on Just Sayin' Caledon.

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