The Pallium Canada Team has the privilege to support health care workers who are committed to serve humanity, care for the frail and ill, and alleviate pain and suffering. The health care system recognizes that every human life has value. As a health care partner, we have a role in helping to protect that value.
In our daily work, we come across the inequities that exist in our health care system as it pertains to palliative care. We have seen striking gaps in care in Black, Indigenous, rural and remote, homeless, our elderly and new immigrant communities across the country that recently have been made worse with COVID-19. We have gone on record to articulate how intolerable this situation is, and we continue to press government to balance the scales and ensure proper palliative care exists for all Canadians regardless of geography, socio-economic status, race, colour, or creed.
Our work each day supports our belief that every Canadian should have access to high quality palliative care. Palliative care is about dignity, respect, and appreciation for the unique values and wishes of every patient and their family. It is also about helping people live fully until the end of life. Regis Korchinski-Paquet, D’Andre Campbell, George Floyd, and countless others, have not been afforded that dignity and respect.
Our team is made up of a diverse group of people, and while each of us has our own unique perspective and lived experience, we all agree that no one should live in fear of racism, abuse, violence, or injustice. As with health care inequities, we are not neutral on this matter either.
We must come together and actively combat racism in all its forms and promote equality and respect. We know it is not enough to simply feel badly or wish things were different. We must be proactive in dealing with systemic racism in our places of work, our health system, our schools, and our communities.
The immediate focus for us as a team is a commitment to open dialogue on this subject in our workplace and identify priorities where we can do better to support inclusivity.
We do not have all the answers, but we know a solution requires ongoing action from all of us.