Two federal agencies, the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer and the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement, are providing the funding for four years to support the training of paramedics across Canada.
The funding is to support patients living with life-limiting conditions who want improved access to palliative care in their homes.
When paramedics are supported with palliative care training, patients with palliative needs can receive care that improves their comfort and quality of life, by staying in their homes, and avoiding unwanted trips to the hospital.
The BC program will be developed similar to existing programs in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Alberta, where paramedics are trained in palliative pain and symptom management and integrated into existing palliative care teams that include doctors and nurses.
“The three provinces with this program have proven they can provide the most appropriate care to palliative patients in the right place and at the right time,” says Nancy Kotani, BCEHS chief transformation officer.
Kotani says the palliative program goals in BC will be similar: improved patient experience; an increase in the number of people able to remain in their home at end-of-life; and a reduction in transfers to emergency departments.
The BC Centre for Palliative Care, a partner in the program, indicates that during the next two decades, BC will continue to face system-wide challenges in providing timely, cost-effective care for seriously ill and frail citizens.
BCEHS is excited to have this support to train our paramedics across the province in palliative care.