Hello, it’s Abigail again!
Currently writing to you from a cafe in Montreal. I am now eight days into my stretch experience, of those eight days, I have spent roughly three and a half of them on a train. In elementary school, we spend a good part of Grade Two social class colouring maps of Canada and labelling the cities. We all know that Canada is the second largest country in the world. However, nothing prepares you for the true enormity of it until you stare out a window and look at it all.
One goal of my stretch experience is to develop a better understanding of the size of Canada and how this affects our ability to provide equitable care to all of our citizens. Although I am looking specifically at end of life care, a lot of insights in terms of the size of Canada and delivery of care are transferable.
Thus far, three distinct challenges to delivery of care that I have encountered are:
- Access to equitable end of life care in rural areas (How do we reach patients? How is care given? How is follow-up handled?)
- Access to equitable end of life care in major city centers with diverse at risk populations (How do we find patients in need of care when they are living without a fixed address? How do we continue and monitor care? How do we ensure that their needs are viewed without basis by the healthcare community?)
- Access to culturally appropriate and safe care in a diverse country (How do we involve patients and respect their individual cultural and religion in end of life care? How do we integrate Indigenous ways of life into care? What does the intersection of culture, religion, and medicine look like?)
Being from Edmonton and visiting Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, and Montreal has introduced me to a world of different insights and perspectives on end of life care. In the coming days Quebec, Ottawa, and Halifax will be added to this list.
Please stay tuned for more!