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January 31, 2017

NDP needs to explain removal of spiritual care position

Today, Wildrose Shadow Seniors, Housing & Mental Health Minister Mark Smith and Wildrose Shadow Health Minister Tany Yao called on Health Minister Sarah Hoffman to explain the AHS decision to remove a specialized spiritual care coordinator position at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre.

The coordinator provided patients with assistance regarding life and death matters. This non-denominational role also provided essential spiritual support to cancer patients.

“A lack of spiritual support can have severely detrimental effects on one’s mental health,” Smith said. “We look forward to an explanation from the Minister on why this position was cut.”

Wildrose believes spiritual support is essential to a comprehensive care approach. Without needed spiritual support patients and their families lack a valued and trusted member of the healthcare team.

“Patients are wondering why this integral position was cut,” Yao said. “A role of this nature is a valuable coping mechanism for those suffering from major illness. The Health Minister needs to explain this decision.