Prague Charter Promotes Global Access to Hospice Care
Here in the U.S., we often talk about how difficult it is to have the “Hospice Conversation” about when to begin end-of-life care with patients and their families. But did you know that 42% of countries have no identified hospice and palliative care services? Or that 80% of people globally lack adequate access to medication for treatment of moderate to severe pain? This means that millions of people, especially in the developing world, are living and dying in unnecessary pain and distress, according to David Praill of the Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance and Chief Executive of Help the Hospices.
The European Association of Palliative Care* is trying to change these shocking statistics by promoting the Prague Charter, which declares access to palliative care as a human right. It urges governments of all nations to:
- Develop health policies that address the needs of patients with life-limiting or terminal illnesses.
- Ensure access to essential medicines, including controlled medications, to all who need them.
- Ensure that healthcare workers receive adequate training on palliative care and pain management at undergraduate and subsequent levels.
- Ensure the integration of palliative care into healthcare systems at all levels.
The Prague Charter echoes Hospice by the Bay’s own vision of a society that ensures access to hospice care for all who need it. In the interest of getting governments around the world to start the “hospice conversation,” You may want to Sign the Charter.
*In addition to the EAPC, the Prague Charter is being promoted by the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHPC), the Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance (WPCA), and Human Rights Watch (HRW).