The Executive Board of the WHO continues to meet in Geneva this week and on Thursday or Friday (January 23 or 24) will discuss a first resolution devoted entirely to palliative care. This resolution has been moved forward by Panama with the co-sponsorship of Australia, Chile, Colombia, Ghana, Libya, Malaysia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States of America. Panama in particular is to be commended for its leadership!
In preparation of this resolution, a report was issued earlier this week by the WHO Secretariat advocated for a public health approach to palliative care. This approach consists of
1. following health system policies to ensure integration of #palliativecare services into structure & financing of national healthcare systems at all levels of care
2. Policies for strengthening and expanding human resources, including education and training of health care professionals in order to ensure adequate responses to palliative care needs, together with the training of volunteers and education of the public.
3. A medicines policy in order to ensure availability of essential medicines for the management of symptoms, incl pain… and psychological distress, and, in particular, opioid analgesics for relief of pain and respiratory distress
The WHO also adds an important new element to the public health approach regarding research.
4. A policy for research into assessing the needs for palliative care and identifying standards and models of service that work, particularly in limited resource settings.
The WHO is to be congratulated for this comprehensive new articulation of a public health approach to palliative care for the global community.
The draft resolution can be reviewed here: Palliative Care Draft Resolution 17Jan2014. This was distributed publicly at the Exec Board meeting today in preparation for this weeks discussion. Yes it is a draft and things may change both this week at the Executive Board and until it is adopted at the World Health Assembly in May.
Appreciate you sharing your thoughts and comments below. Follow #hpmglobal this week and over the next few months to help bring this resolution to its full adoption!