Achieving Universal Coverage of Palliative Care: Dispelling the myths

Categories: Community Engagement.

This year has been a great year for palliative care advocacy. Among the successes has been the inclusion of palliative care in the WHO definition of Universal Health Coverage (UHC). This means that palliative care will now be included in discussions as the WHO prioritises UHC.

Myths and misinformation around hospice and palliative care represent significant barriers to accessing palliative care services.

As part of the effort to achieve universal coverage of palliative care, the theme for this year’s World Hospice and Palliative Care day is: ‘Achieving universal coverage of palliative care: Dispelling the myths’.



World Hospice and Palliative Care Day on 12 October 2013 is a unified day of action to celebrate and support hospice and palliative care around the world. Inaccurate information about hospice and palliative care creates barriers to access that are unnecessary and lead to greater suffering. We are out to dispel these unhelpful myths and promote the facts through this year’s theme. 

“World Hospice and Palliative Care Day is a day of celebration for the progress that has been made in reducing pain and suffering. But it is also a day to shine a light on neglected or marginalised groups that are still unable to get the care that they require,” added Sharon Baxter, Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance and Executive Director of the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association.

This World Hospice and Palliative Care Day, the WPCA encourages hospice and palliative care services around the world to address and dispel common myths about the services they provide. 

It is important that people recognise that: 

1. Palliative care is provided in the place you call home
2. You deserve pain relief and you can get it safely 
3. Palliative care means quality of life
4. Palliative care is meant for all people facing a chronic life-limiting illness
5. Hospice and palliative care is for people of all ages
6. Every person deserves to have access to quality hospice and palliative care
7. Hospice and palliative care focuses on living until the end, not dying.

Thousands of people from over 70 countries around the globe will be taking part in events to mark the day. 
Register your own event on the World Hospice and Palliative Care website and help dispel damaging myths around hospice and palliative care. 

You can get involved by visiting the World Hospice and Palliative Care Day website and downloading the media pack and materials
Follow World Hospice and Palliative Care Day on Twitter: @WorldHospiceDay #worldhpcday

ICPCN has also developed materials for this World Hospice and Palliative Care Day that pertain specifically to children. Details to follow soon.