ST. PAUL, Minn –The Senate Long Term Care and Aging Committee passed SF 112, a bill that would create a palliative care advisory committee to identify barriers that prevent access to palliative care. Senator Nick Frentz (DFL- N. Mankato) is a longtime advocate on palliative care issues and voted favorably for the bill.
“While avoiding serious illness is not always possible, providing patients with dignified, self-directed care should be. Palliative care allows patients experiencing serious illness to make their own choices about treatment. It leads to improved clinical outcomes and improved quality of life. The benefits of palliative care extend beyond the health of the patient to the wellbeing of family members, healthcare workers, and communities at large,” said Frentz.
While the need for palliative care is fast growing, there is a shortage of specialists in Minnesota. Access to palliative care certification is most severely limited in rural Minnesota where fifty five percent of small hospitals lack palliative care programs.
Frentz commented, “Rural communities will benefit tremendously from improved access to palliative care. I look forward to the passage of this bill and the advisory committee’s recommendations. Funding and implementing the recommended changes will be the ultimate test of commitment to this issue.”