11 January 2023

by David Cvet, President, Atalanta Hospice Society (AHS)

The purpose of Hospice palliative care is to relieve suffering and improve the quality of life for those individuals living with a life limiting illness.  This care extends to serving the needs of their families, and through a combination of physical, social, spiritual, psychological and practical programs, manages the process of end-of-life care for both patients and their loved ones.

In general, the care described provided by hospital institutions is usually referred to as “palliative care,” whereas, the same care provided in a community setting is referred to as “hospice care.” Hospice care can not only be provided by a physical hospice facility (like the proposed Fundy Hospice), but can also include hospice care in places where the patient lives, typically in their home. Both hospice and palliative care does not provide or focus on curative therapies or medical intervention to prolong life.

It is well understood that the Canadian health care services across all levels is facing significant challenges delivering care to those in need.  We feel that the implementation of Fundy Hospice would help relieve the pressure of emergency care in hospitals for individuals in their end-of-life phase by allowing local hospitals to focus on patients not requiring end-of-life care.  Nova Scotia Health Authority realizes a financial benefit from incorporating hospice care because the daily cost of approximately $460 per patient per day under hospice care versus $1,100 per patient per day in an acute care hospital bed would allow effective allocation of funds to improve general health care services to individuals.

1. Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association. (
2. Nova Scotia Hospice Palliative Care Association (