Federal budget investment in home and palliative care a win for cancer patients

OTTAWA, March 22, 2017 /CNW/ - The Canadian Cancer Society is pleased to see today's budget follow through on the federal government's commitment to improving home and palliative care.

Access to better palliative care is becoming increasingly urgent as Canada's aging population faces an almost 40% increase in the number of new cancer cases by 2030.

"About 8 out of 10 people who receive palliative care are cancer patients," says Kelly Masotti, director, public issues, Canadian Cancer Society. "Today's announcement will improve the lives of patients and their families as it offers real choice about where they receive care."

Today's federal budget fulfills the government's commitment to invest $11 billion over the next 10 years in home care, palliative care and mental health. However, money alone won't alleviate the burden on the healthcare system or improve the lives of those affected by cancer unless it is accompanied by concrete plans for this investment.

CCS has been advocating for better palliative care options with all levels of government in order to ensure that all Canadians can access affordable, high-quality palliative care in the setting of their choice.

"We are pleased to see the increased flexibility in the criteria for the compassionate care benefit. Expanding the criteria from 'significant risk of death' to a 'critical illness or injury' will allow for more Canadians living with cancer and their families to receive financial support," says Masotti. "We are, however, concerned with the decision to decrease the number of weeks of eligibility from 26 weeks to 15 weeks of support."

The vast majority (89%) of caregivers spend at least one year giving care. Caregivers support and provide key services to thousands of cancer patients every year in Canada while bearing significant personal and financial burdens. CCS is ready to work with the government to eliminate barriers for Canadians who need caregiver support.

About the Canadian Cancer Society
The Canadian Cancer Society is a national, community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is to eradicate cancer and enhance the quality of life of people living with cancer. Thanks to our donors and volunteers, the Society has the most impact, against the most cancers, in the most communities in Canada. For more information, visit cancer.ca or call our toll-free bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1-888-939-3333 (TTY 1-866-786-3934).

SOURCE Canadian Cancer Society (National Office)

For further information: Susan Fekete, Communications Specialist, Canadian Cancer Society, susan.fekete@cancer.ca, 613-565-2522 ext. 4985


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