Kinew Calls for Stronger Palliative Care in Light of CIHI Report

September 19, 2018

Wab Kinew, Leader of the Manitoba NDP, has renewed calls for investments in palliative care services that help Manitoba patients get the care they need at end of life.

Kinew’s call comes in light of a report released by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) that found very few Manitobans receive palliative care at home in their last year of life. The Access to Palliative Care in Canada report determines that most Canadians would prefer to die at home with access to publicly funded, community palliative care supports. However, Manitoba has the highest number of deaths occurring in a hospital or personal care home than any other province (84%) and the fourth lowest number of deaths occurring in a private home.

“When Manitobans are at the end of their life, they want to be at home with their family and loved ones,” said Kinew. “Thanks to the Pallister government, that’s not possible because they can’t access quality palliative care in their community, either through clinical teams or home care workers.”

The report also shows that Manitoba is one of only three provinces that do not have a province-wide palliative care strategy or framework. Provinces with integrated strategies, such as Ontario, have more patients able to live out their end of life at home because they have greater access to community palliative supports.

The Manitoba NDP forced the government to vote in favour of expanding palliative care last fall, yet the Pallister government has so far made no new investments. The NDP have also criticized the Pallister government for cutting funding to personal care homes, cancelling projects for hundreds of personal care home beds and refusing to build any new PCH beds since 2016.

Kinew urged the Manitoba government to immediately begin work on a plan to increase public palliative care supports and ensure the strategy is patient-centered and community based. He noted that increased investment in prevention, like public health and mental health, will help Manitobans live healthier lives at home.

“Seniors and those with terminal conditions deserve to live comfortably and with dignity at home. My dad had the opportunity to get loving care at home and I believe every person should have that,” said Kinew. “The Pallister government must strengthen our palliative care system so that all patients have access to a better quality of life and a peaceful, dignified death.”