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Women affected by serious illness call on decision makers to take a leading role to advance palliative care

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Six women affected by serious illness and palliative care have open written letters to their national decision makers, urging them to take a leading role in advancing palliative care in their countries. The letters were published in a report released today, World Hospice and Palliative Care Day, by the Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance. 61.5 million people worldwide experience serious health-related suffering which could be addressed by palliative care. Unfortunately, less than 10% of those that need palliative care can access it and 42% of the world’s countries have no palliative care services at all. This is despite the fact that an essential package of palliative care in low- and middle-income countries costs about $3 per capita. The report contains the open letters of six extraordinary women from Australia, Bangladesh, India, South Africa and the UK to decision makers who can influence access to palliative care. These women are directly affected by palliative care through living with serious illness themselves or being parents of children with serious illnesses. They are working to make a difference to the lives of other adults and children who are affected. They aim to encourage greater understanding of and commitment to ending avoidable suffering and making palliative care available for all as part of the move towards Universal Health Coverage. As countries move towards Universal Health Coverage, the voices of those affected by serious illness must be heard to ensure equitable coverage of palliative care for those who need it. You can download the report from The WHPCA website.

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