MPP Oosterhoff’s pallative care bill closer to becoming law

Sam Oosterhoff - private member's bill Niagara West MPP Sam Sam Oosterhoff poses in front of Grimsby's McNally House, a pallative care facility.

Public committee hearings scheduled for next week brings West Niagara MPP Sam Oosterhoff’s palliative care bill one step closer to becoming law.

The hearings, for what is known as Bill 3, The Compassionate Care Act, are scheduled for Nov. 23 to 24. It is Oosterhoff’s first Private Member’s Bill, which was first tabled and debated in 2017. It did not become a law because parliament was dissolved before the Third Reading.

In July 2018, the bill received unanimous support from the Ontario Legislature. Public hearings are the next step in turning the proposed bill into law.

“The Compassionate Care Act shows the commitment of the Government of Ontario to care for those at the end-of-life and those who are dealing with serious illness,” said Oosterhoff. “We look forward to learning from stakeholders across the province as they share their experiences and insights into the value and need for palliative care.” 

Bill 3 will create a provincial framework to improve access and quality of pallative care in hospitals, long-term care homes, hospices, and home care.

The framework would also identify measures to facilitate consistent access to palliative care across Ontario and measures that would support palliative care providers. It would also identify palliative care training and education needs of health care providers and caregivers, as well as research and common data elements on palliative care that are needed.

“The provincewide framework that will be developed as a result of the Compassionate Care Act will ensure that more patients and families have improved access to high-quality palliative care when they need it and support health care workers and caregivers in their efforts to deliver this important care,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.

The bill has also received support from palliative care providers and the health care community with close to 40 witnesses registered to give testimony.