The PRISMA Symposium 2: Lessons From Beyond Europe. Reflections on the Evolution of Palliative Care Research and Policy in Canada
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In Canada, the aging population with a rising incidence of chronic diseases-and thus more complex care needs-is putting significant pressure on the health care system, long-term care system, and family caregivers. Ten years ago, the Government of Canada appointed Canada's first Minister with Special Responsibility for Palliative Care. During that time, the federal government developed significant public policy goals for palliative care, including the Canadian Strategy on Palliative and End-of-Life Care. This strategy led to many policy improvements, particularly in the areas of research and data collection, education for health care professionals, and support for caregivers. In 2007, the Secretariat within the federal government supporting the Canadian strategy was defunded and disbanded. Four years later, progress in improving palliative care for Canadians has slowed. This article reviews some of the successes of palliative care policy and research in Canada and outlines several lessons to be learned for other jurisdictions developing public policy for palliative care.
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