Update on implementation of the 2014 World Health Assembly resolution on palliative care – report released

Categories: Policy.

The resolution, titled: ‘Strengthening of palliative care as a component of comprehensive care throughout the life course’, calls on UN member states to prioritise palliative care development. Specifically, countries should:

  1. integrate palliative care in all relevant healthcare policies and health insurance
  2. ensure that essential palliative care medicines are available, accessible, and affordable
  3. ensure that all healthcare professionals receive at least basic training in palliative care and that specialist care is available; and
  4. invest in rolling out palliative care at all levels of the healthcare system.  

The Civil Society report, titled: ‘Update on: implementation of the 2014 World Health Assembly resolution on palliative care’ has been released ahead of the 69th World Health Assembly, taking place this week in Geneva, Switzerland.

The report has been authored by the Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network, the African Palliative Care Association, the European Association for Palliative Care, Human Rights Watch, the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care, the International Children’s Palliative Care Network, the Latin American Association for Palliative Care, the Union for International Cancer Control, the NCD Alliance and the Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance.

It contains examples of progress in implementing the resolution from a number of countries, including: Ethiopia, India, Panama and Romania.

The authors note that: “It is essential that WHO and member states prioritise the development of palliative care, and that resources are earmarked to accelerate this process.”

They recommend specifically that:

  1. donor countries make funds available to fully implement the resolution
  2. countries should ensure palliative care is covered under national Universal Health Coverage plans; and that
  3. all countries should adopt national strategies for palliative care implementation that includes universal health professional training and access to all essential palliative care medicines.

You can download the report from the Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance website.