“Yes to palliative units and care for children” In Norway has carried out significant advocacy over the past 4 years and finally the hard work has made a huge difference. In 2009, the words ‘palliative care for children’ was not on anyone’s agenda in Norway. It was an unspoken topic that no one seemed to understand. Strategic planning, lobbying of political parties and the provision of knowledge on children’s palliative care to health systems and the public has brought about success in getting it on the Norwegian political agenda.
King Harald V appointed Erna Solberg’s Government on 16 October 2013. This new government represents the Conservative Party and the Progress Party.
They have made a political platform for the next 4 years called the “Sundvolden-plattformen”. In their 75 page statement they have included one sentence that states the need for education and the increase of knowledge on children’s palliative and hospice care. The writing of the national guidelines on children’s palliative care is also in progress and will be completed next year. However, much still needs to be done such as providing education and strategic planning for the ‘what, how and when’ of children’s palliative care provision. These issues must remain high on the political and financial agenda.
Bent Høie of the Conservative Party was appointed as the Minister of Health and Care Services. Many ICPCN and Together for Short Lives colleagues met him when “Yes to palliative units and care for children” opened their first Children’s Palliative Care Conference in Norway in 2012. He opened this conference attended by over 200 healthcare professionals. The new Minister of Health has shown an encouraging interest in this field, together with many others of the newly appointed ministers.
A new beginning
“Yes to palliative units and care for children” is a non-profit organization which will have a central role to play in the future of children’s palliative care in Norway to ensure professionalism, quality and service and that children and their families get the best care provided by trained health professionals.Our organisation is also hopeful that the new government will provide the necessary funding in its budget to facilitate the successful development of children’s palliative care in Norway.
While it has been a difficult journey we are aware that now the real work begins and we will need all the help we can get to ensure the success of this project in Norway.