In 2014, The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance (WPCA) jointly developed the ‘Global Atlas on Palliative Care at End of Life’. The Atlas identifies access to palliative care as a human right. The comprehensive information contained in The Atlas is vital to persuade policy makers to take action to integrate palliative care in global and national health agendas.
Every year, over 40 million patients need palliative care, including 20 million at the end of life. 80% of those who need it live in low and middle-income countries, yet most palliative care is provided in high-income countries. Only 20 countries have palliative care well-integrated into their healthcare systems. This is due to many factors, including: lack of palliative care policies at a national level, lack of trained personnel, lack of funding and reduced access to medication.*
How can we change all this? Let’s start by creating an identity for palliative care. With its potential adoption as a globally-recognised symbol, Hospis Malaysia hopes that it will initiate the following:
- Challenge misconceptions about palliative care.
- Bring policy makers and healthcare professionals together to improve options for recipients.
- Have all countries include palliative care as part of their healthcare.
- Ensure the rights of patients, families and caregivers are protected by legislation.
- Bring service providers and palliative care organisations together to raise minimum standards.
- Raise awareness amongst potential donors and volunteers.
- Increase availability and accessibility of drugs and services needed to manage pain.
*Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance