SAINT JOHN (GNB) – Premier Brian Gallant has announced an increase of five per cent in yearly operational funding for Bobby’s Hospice, a residential hospice facility in Saint John.

“Your government is committed to improving health and palliative care services in New Brunswick,” said Gallant. “Bobby’s Hospice was the first residential hospice in the province and continues to play an essential role in the Saint John area by supporting people at the end of life, and their families.”

The Department of Health will provide $1.533 million to Hospice Greater Saint John to help cover operational costs over two years.

Hospice Greater Saint John has been providing palliative and grief support services in the region since 1983. In November 2010, Bobby’s Hospice opened their doors to the greater Saint John area as the first residential hospice house. It is a 10-bed hospice that provides 24-hour, professional end-of-life care. It focuses on comfort and celebrating life in a dignified and respectful way.

“We are very proud of our partnership with the Government of New Brunswick,” said Sandy Maxwell, chief executive officer of Hospice Greater Saint John. “Our new two-year agreement and increase in funding to $766,500 per year is welcome news after eight years of operations. Our wonderful community provides over $1 million annually to help us cover all the other costs of providing care at Bobby’s Hospice and we are grateful for their continued support. Residential hospice is an important part of the delivery of palliative care to the people of New Brunswick.”

The framework for a palliative care strategy was recently announced. It is based upon strategic pillars developed under five themes:

  • person-centred care;

  • family support network inclusion;

  • professional capacity;

  • community capacity; and

  • regional health authority, Extra-Mural/Ambulance New-Brunswick and provincial leadership.

Supporting those in need of palliative care is part of the New Brunswick Family Plan framework. The framework aims to improve the lives of all residents by addressing the factors that have the greatest impact upon health and well-being. It focuses government action in seven priority areas: improving access to primary and acute care; promoting wellness; supporting people with addictions and mental health challenges; fostering healthy aging and support for seniors; advancing women’s equality; reducing poverty; and supporting people with disabilities.