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Palliative Care - not a Luxury, but a Human Right and an Essential Element of Universal Health Coverage (UHC)

MMS Bulletin #154, July 2020

Palliative Care - not a Luxury, but a Human Right and an Essential Element of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) MMS Millions of people worldwide, especially the poor, are still dying with little or no pain relief or palliative care. They suffer the most severe pain because government policies in many countries are hindering access to affordable painkillers, the funding for an expansion of palliative care is largely lacking, and healthcare professionals are not adequately trained. At the same time, rather than being a luxury, palliative care is relatively inexpensive as well as being a moral and ethical imperative. In accordance with the WHO and international organisations, the experts in our current MMS Bulletin are advocating for the transition away from a health service that is primarily geared towards curing illnesses and to a more supportive medical system that places chronically ill or dying people, and improving their quality of life, at its centre. The articles in this issue offer an interesting global cross-section of the situation of palliative care in many countries. (Photo: CanSupport doctor at the home of a cancer patient in New Delhi, India, explaining to his spouse how to give pain medication/ © CanSupport)

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