Not enough doctors providing palliative care, says Quebec College of Physicians

Patients may be forced to choose assisted dying for lack of dignified palliative care options if recent trends continue.

"Since about 2 years now there's more and more difficulties to mobilize physicians to get involved in full time or part time palliative care," says Dr Yves Robert with the College of Physicians. "We don't know exactly what are the reasons for that."

He says doctors have been leaning towards family medicine rather than palliative care and with an aging population, there will be shortages in the sector if the government doesn't invest now.

"To provide really on a continuous basis the availability of all options to patients arriving at the end of life," says Robert. "Not only the medical aide in dying but also other options."

The College recommends training all sorts of doctors to provide some palliative care services and increase funding for home care and hospice units.