HALIFAX -- A new five-room dedicated palliative care unit is expected to open this fall at Fishermen's Memorial Hospital in Lunenburg, N.S.

The Nova Scotia government says they will be contributing $1 million annually to the new unit, which will provide team-based palliative care, including end-of-life care, symptom management and support for patients and their families.

"Everyone deserves respectful, integrated palliative care at the end of life," said Premier Iain Rankin in a news release. "These dedicated palliative care rooms and services will provide comfort and quality care to patients and families on the south shore, and ensure the right supports are in place - medically, physically and emotionally."

"This unit will allow more people in this community to receive end-of-life care in a more welcoming and comforting setting," said Dr. Brendan Carr, president and CEO of Nova Scotia Health.

According to the province, existing beds at the hospital will be converted into home-like environments. Funding from the government will cover one-time costs for equipment and furnishings, annual physician coverage and additional staffing needs.

"The South Shore Hospice Palliative Care Society is so very pleased about today's announcement of palliative beds at Fishermen's Memorial Hospital," said Trudy Johnson, chair of the South Shore Hospice Palliative Care Society. "We look forward to working with our partners to help create a compassionate end-of-life care environment for residents of Lunenburg and Queens counties."

Currently, palliative care patients from Nova Scotia's south shore who require hospitalization are admitted to acute care beds at Fishermen's Memorial Hospital, the South Shore Regional hospital or Queen's General Hospital.