Health Minister Terry Lake has issued the following statement in recognition of National Hospice Palliative Care Week, May 3-9, 2015:
“With a greater aging population, the need for end-of-life care is increasing and we have been given a mandate to create new hospice-care spaces throughout the province — with the goal of doubling these spaces by the year 2020.
“While death is an extremely sensitive and sad topic, it affects everyone and does not discriminate. That’s why we are starting conversations of our own to make B.C.’s health services more personal and patient-centred, with a focus on improving palliative and end-of-life care.
“A patient’s needs and wishes should be at the heart of effective end-of-life services, with a consideration for things like comfort, quality of life, respect for treatment decisions and family support. In the coming months, we will be announcing funding to support improved access to care throughout the province.
“This year’s theme is the power of 10, focused on spreading the message about the importance of talking about hospital palliative care with 10 of your friends, family and acquaintances. By having these difficult but crucial conversations, you’re helping open the lines of communications about what best meets your needs at the end of your life.
“Part of this conversation includes talking to your loved ones and health-care providers about what kind of health-care treatment you wish to receive, or not, if you become incapable of expressing your own wishes. There are many options available to British Columbians who want to create an advance care plan.
“I encourage all British Columbians to discuss and develop their advance care plans to help alleviate some of the stress your family and friends could face if they are asked to make important health-care decisions for you.
“End-of-life touches all of us. We honour and thank hospice services in communities throughout B.C., and the compassionate health-care professionals who deliver them, helping patients and families transition into the final stages of life.”
Learn more about advance care planning by visiting: www.seniorsbc.ca/legal/healthdecisions/
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Health
250 952-1887 (media line)