Statement Title: Response to Delta Hospice Society’s Loss of Funding
Approved by Board of Directors: February 28, 2020
Vancouver – Friday, February 28, 2020 2:45 PM

The BC Hospice Palliative Care Association, a not-for-profit membership organization, which represents individuals and organizations committed to promoting and delivering hospice/palliative care to British Columbians since 1986, is deeply saddened by the recent decision made by the Fraser Health Authority to cancel their long-standing contract with Delta Hospice Society.

Furthermore, we are concerned that this precedent-setting decision was made with seemingly no consultation with provincial hospice leaders and no consultation with the BC Hospice Palliative Care Association (BCHPCA) was considered.
On February 25, 2020, “Fraser Health will stop paying the $1.5M annual funding to The Delta Hospice Society, giving the organization one year’s notice to end its service agreement without cause.”

This follows the “Ministry of Health’s mandate that all hospice facilities, without religious objection, receiving government funding within BC must provide medical assistance in dying (MAiD) services.”.

While we understand the incredible pressures from both parties and the events that have occurred, we must take into consideration the potential harms that this decision may cause to not only the Delta Hospice Society but to hospice palliative care as a whole within communities and service facilities in BC.

With this in mind, and given current events that have materialized, we invite the Minister of Health, government officials and health authorities to consider the initiation of a provincial awareness-raising campaign to begin a presently-absent dialogue about access to hospice palliative care, death and dying, and end of life care options. We want to ensure that community awareness, education and resources are readily available to service providers and the public. We will continue to advocate that hospice palliative care receive the same level of attention and support that has been given to the provision of MAiD in recent years. The BCHPCA would like to establish the future inclusion of industry hospice leaders and the BC Hospice Palliative Care Association before mandated decisions are finalized. A greater appreciation of hospice palliative care and conversations about end of life care will reduce the risk of policies that may pose a threat and existence of the viability of hospice palliative care in the province as we know it.

What is Hospice Palliative Care?

This is a specialized form of healthcare. Hospice palliative care focuses on managing symptoms through the prevention and relief of suffering. Hospice palliative care is both a philosophy and an approach to care that enables all individuals with a life-limiting and/or life-threatening condition to receive integrated and coordinated care across the continuum that addresses the specific physical, psychological, social and spiritual issues associated with one’s needs, hopes and fears.

What is the difference between palliative care and hospice care?

In Canada, both terms are used to refer to the same thing – this specific approach to care. However, people often use the term hospice care to describe care that is offered in the community rather than in hospitals. CHPCA

Principles Related to Hospice Palliative Care

  • Provide person-centred care
  • Care for and support the family of the person in care
  • Improve the quality of life and death for the person in care
  • Provide comfort and maintain the person’s dignity in care

Media Contact Details:
Pablita Thomas
Interim Executive Director
BC Hospice Palliative Care Association
(604) 267-7024