CFN partners with prominent health groups on survey of palliative care

June 1, 2015

The first-ever national survey of physicians who deliver palliative care in Canada is providing critical direction for improving access to palliative care services.  Based on a survey over 1,000 doctors who provide palliative medicine, the survey was funded by CFN, along with the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians, Canadian Medical Association, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and College of Family Physicians of Canada.

Among the survey report’s key findings announced on May 28th at the annual Advanced Palliative Care conference in Calgary:

  • Canada needs an adequate palliative medicine workforce that is properly trained and which has the support of allied health professionals, as well as community supports and services.
  • Primary care providers need more palliative care education and training, with stronger emphasis on palliative medicine, which needs to be valued by universities and medical schools with protected time and other requirements to foster academic growth. 
  • Canada must ensure national palliative medicine standards are met, which include reflection on varying strategies for rural and urban settings, guidance for interdisciplinary care, and workforce planning.

Commenting on the report, CFN scientific director Dr. John Muscedere says, “We now have baseline data to conduct deeper analyses, to develop research questions, and to inform policy, practice and workforce planning that will lead to improved access to palliative care for all Canadians.”