Alberta commits more than $11M to end-of-life care and supports

·2 min read
Jason Copping, Alberta's health minister, says the funding wil help fill in health-care gaps exposed by the pandemic. (Getty images/Cultura RF - image credit)
Jason Copping, Alberta's health minister, says the funding wil help fill in health-care gaps exposed by the pandemic. (Getty images/Cultura RF - image credit)

More than $11 million will be given in grants for palliative care in Alberta, the provincial government announced Monday.

The province named the recipients of a $11.3 million grant for palliative care that was first promised in November of last year.

The funding is spread out between 25 projects, including expanding community support and services, and improving education for health care providers and caregivers.

"I think that it's going to greatly strengthen the system," said  Kristi Puchbauer, CEO of the Alberta Hospice Palliative Care Association (AHPCA), one of the organizations that will benefit from the funding.

"I think it's been a fantastic opportunity for organizations to be able to put together proposals and really address the needs that are there, and not only address them but articulate how those needs can be addressed."

Puchbauer said the money will not only be beneficial in providing care but will also help the association launch a new volunteer training program in rural Alberta. Previous funding allowed the group to start a support program called You're not Alone.

"It's a very unique telephone grief support program that matches one-to-one, a volunteer with a participant, based solely on a shared grief experience," she said.

"So you might have a grieving mother who has lost a son through death speaking with another grieving parent."

The funding and projects break down as follows:

  • More than $1.9 million to support four projects that advance earlier access to palliative and end-of-life care.

  • Almost $4.2 million for eight projects to expand community supports and services.

  • More than $4.1 million for 10 projects to improve health-care provider and caregiver education and training.

  • Just over $1.1 million for three projects for research and innovation.

Jason Copping, Alberta's health minister, said  the funding builds on a $20 million investment from two years ago and will help fill gaps exposed by the pandemic.

"We are also, as part of our review of continuing care, looking at how do we continue [to] provide as part of that palliative and end-of-life care, as well as developing the regulations associated with that," he said.

"So the work is ongoing and we continue to do ongoing assessment as how do we support Albertans."