This World Hospice and Palliative Care Day, the Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance and the International Children’s Palliative Care Network are pleased to publish a new report entitled “Leave no one behind: Equity in access to palliative care.” The report looks at the current situation in palliative care inequities both across and within countries. The report looks at the current evidence on palliative care inequity, provides some examples of where inequities are being addressed and looks forward to what more is needed. Please download the report here:
We are also launching a survey to find out more about the lived experience of people who access palliative care as well as further examples of projects and initiatives that are working to address palliative care inequities worldwide. Please complete the survey here by 29th October 2021.
Palliative care is one of the most inequitable areas of healthcare. There is strong evidence that people with reduced power or marginalised status are less able to access the palliative care they need. Across countries, people who live in low and middle income countries have a greater need for palliative care but less access to palliative care services. 76% of the people who need palliative care live in low and middle income countries, yet there are few palliative care services. Inequities exist within countries too. People have less access to palliative care as a result of age, gender, ethnicity, religious belief, disability, sexual orientation, diagnosis or socioeconomic status.
The root causes of health inequities are driven by the social determinants of health. Where we live, how we live and where we work all impact on our access to health services and our health outcomes. While efforts to address palliative care inequities must look at how palliative care services are provided and to whom, it is important that palliative care advocates and providers situate themselves in the larger picture. There is a role for all of us to address the root causes which drive health inequity such as poverty and discrimination.
We believe that palliative care must be available to all who need it: wherever you live, whoever you love and whatever your age or background. We hope that this report is used to initiate further conversations and sharing of work being done to make palliative care available to all who need it – wherever they live, whoever they love and whatever their age or background.