Paramedics Providing Palliative Care at Home Program

The Provincial Integrated Palliative Care Program and Island EMS are working together to support palliative care patients with after-hours (evening and overnight) in-home care when they need it.

Through the Paramedics Providing Palliative Care at Home program trained paramedics can provide palliative care patients with pain and symptom management at home, after-hours. View the brochure [PDF | 4,349 KB].

How does this program support palliative care patients?

This new program supports palliative patients and their families/caregivers who have chosen to receive palliative and end-of-life care at home.

Islanders registered in the Provincial Integrated Palliative Care Program can access in-home support from Island EMS when they have a palliative emergency or an unexpected health event while at home.

Paramedics trained in palliative pain and symptom management will support patients in their home so that they do not have to go to hospital if they don’t want to.

Who can receive this service?

Islanders (adults and children) who are part of the Provincial Integrated Palliative Care Program can access this new program.

How can I register to receive this service?

To register with Paramedics Providing Palliative Care at Home Program you can call the Palliative Care Program Office at (902) 620-3045.

What do I do when I need after-hours support from this program?

If you are registered with the program and you need after hours palliative care support:

  1. Dial 9-1-1.
  2. Tell the operator that you (your loved one) is registered with the Provincial Integrated Palliative Care Program and give them your name and registration number.
  3. An ambulance will arrive at your home (with no lights or sirens).
  4. The paramedics will provide you with care and support based on the Care Plan developed by you and your health care team so that you can remain in your home if that is your wish.
  5. The paramedic will follow the instructions outlined in your Care Plan, such as provide you with additional pain medication or therapy to make you more comfortable in your home.
  6. You may also ask the paramedic to take you to the hospital if that is your choice.
  7. In some cases, the paramedic may tell you that it would be best if they took you to the emergency department. It is your choice to follow their advice or stay in your home.

* 9-1-1 is available 24/7 for anyone in an emergency situation. For patients registered in the Provincial Integrated Palliative Care program, it is recommended that you contact your Home Care Nurse/Coordinator if help is needed to manage pain and symptoms during regular daytime hours.

What can I expect when the paramedics arrive at my home?

Paramedics trained in palliative care support will work with you (and your family/caregiver) when they arrive at your home. 

They will follow the instructions as outlined in your Care Plan to ensure that you are provided with appropriate treatment and made comfortable in your home. The paramedics may also consult with a physician over the phone to determine the most appropriate treatment option.

The paramedics will also follow-up with your health care team to ensure they are aware of their visit to your home and discuss any medication or changes to your Care Plan that may be needed. 

Will I be charged for accessing this program?

If you are registered in the Provincial Integrated Palliative Care Program and have a valid PEI Health Card, you will not be charged for paramedic care you receive at home.

If you decide that you want the paramedics to take you to the emergency department, you may receive a bill in the mail for the transfer to hospital. Islanders under the age of 65 are charged $150 for an ambulance transport. There is no charge for Islanders 65 years of age or older. 

How is this program made possible?

The new program was made possible through a partnership between Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia with financial support from the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer and Health Canada.

Project partners include Health PEI, Island EMS, the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness, Cancer Care Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Emergency Health Services and Dalhousie University’s Division of Emergency Medical Services.


Published date: 
February 22, 2022
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