According to Peterborough-Kawartha MPP Dave Smith, the funding is part of Ontario’s additional $23 million committed to help residential hospices provide high-quality, compassionate end-of-life services and care, complementing its annual funding of $74 million in palliative care.
The funding aims to offset additional costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, while reflecting a reported decrease in community donations in 2020 which are often used to help support day-to-day operations.
The $375,000 represents a 36 per cent increase in funding from last year and brings the 2021-2022 funding to $1,425,000, Smith said.
“There’s no question Hospice Peterborough has felt the affects of the COVID-19 pandemic; community events to raise capital and support programming were cancelled,” Smith said. “This boost in funding will help them reorient, plan for the future and deliver the best care for patients.”
Hospice Peterborough executive director Hajni Hős says the organization is “grateful” for Smith advocating on its behalf.
“We can continue to do what we do best — provide compassionate end-of-life care for individuals and their families through 24/7 specialized nursing, caregiver support, pain and symptom management services and bereavement support,” she said.
Since 2018, the Ontario government has invested $40 million to add more than 200 new hospice beds for more than 7,000 additional patients per year. Smith said to date, 149 beds have been opened and are supported by $15.5 million in annual funding from the province.
“With this investment, we are ensuring that people can access appropriate care in the right settings now and in the future,” he said.