The British Columbia Hospice Palliative Care Association (BCHPCA) is writing to you today to invite you to begin the conversation of hospice palliative care as a priority in the palliative care community and an aid during COVID-19.
With the passing of Bill C-14 an added level of complexity has been added to hospice palliative care across the country and the province. As a provincial association that aims to be the voice for hospice society’s across the region, we would like to help support you and engage in a partnership that recognizes the choices of people who we serve when it comes to end of life care and bereavement.

Hospice Society’s across the province infuse over $40 million non-government money in support of end of life care. We are advocating to ensure that end-of-life care needs of BC residents are met, enabling them to live and die in the setting of their choosing, with proper pain and symptom management, social, psychological, emotional and spiritual support that hospice palliative care brings.

In view of the changing landscape and increasing need for hospice palliative care, we invite you, Minister, government officials and health authorities to consider the initiation of a provincial awareness campaign to begin a dialogue about access to hospice palliative care and all options at end of life.

With the crisis of COVID – 19, the BCHPCA sees the need for services that hospices can provide both in supporting those that have seen loss due to COVID-19 and those that are isolated and caring for loved ones while socially distant from friends and family. Hospice societies have trained and vetted volunteers that are ready and able to provide these services with very little training required. Hospices also have trained and well-qualified councillors that are specially trained in loss of life and sudden death, a service that is unique to Hospice care, and that can be instrumental in the current environment of COVID – 19.

The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the value that hospice societies can bring to our communities in our current evolving situation. The impactful services that hospice societies bring to their communities coupled with over approximately 6,000 active volunteers, with over half of those volunteers trained in bereavement and grief support and over 65% of hospices equipped with qualified bereavement support staff and councillors; hospices are well equipped and available to serve their communities and the public further to assist in coping with the psychosocial grief this pandemic brings.

The BCHPCA advocates that hospice care receive the same level of attention and support given to the provision of MAiD in recent years. The BCHPCA would like to assure the future inclusion of leaders in the hospice sector along with the BC Hospice Palliative Care Association when conversations and decisions are being made regarding end of life, and hospice palliative care.

BCHPCA is requesting a meeting to share further the added value that hospice societies bring within our province and how our wealth of resources can address the needs of people both now and into the future, as we adjust to the post-COVID-19 impacts.

We aim to be the united provincial voice for hospice palliative care in BC. We are dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in care for persons approaching death so that the burdens of suffering, loneliness and grief are lessened. The BCHPCA operates in close partnership with other provincial organizations and continues to work to ensure that all British Columbians, regardless of where they may live, have equal access to quality hospice palliative care services for themselves and their family.

Wishing you health and well being to you and your family during these times,

Donna Flood
British Columbia Hospice Palliative Care Association