September 04, 2013
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 prioritizes 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 of ‘Achieving universal coverage of palliative care: Dispelling the myths’.
“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:
- Palliative care is provided in the place you call home
- You deserve pain relief and you can get it safely
- Palliative care means quality of life
- Palliative care is meant for all people facing a chronic life-limiting illness
- Hospice and palliative care is for people of all ages
- Every person deserves to have access to quality hospice and palliative care
- 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.
You can get involved by visiting the World Hospice and Palliative Care Day website and downloading the media pack.
Dispelling the Myths About Hospice and Palliative Care
1. MYTH: I can only get palliative care in hospital
FACT: Palliative care services are offered in many places, including hospitals, hospices and in your own home.
2. MYTH: Palliative care manages pain through the use of addictive narcotics.
FACT: Palliative care is whole person care that provides psychosocial and spiritual care along with pain and symptom management.
3. MYTH: Hospice and palliative care accelerates death.
FACT: Hospice and palliative care aims to neither prolong nor accelerate death but rather ensures quality of life until the very end.
4. MYTH: Hospice and palliative care is just for people with cancer
FACT: All those who are diagnosed with a chronic life-limiting illness can benefit from hospice and palliative care
5. MYTH: Hospices are generally just for old people
FACT: Hospice and palliative care is provided to people of all ages - from infancy to adulthood.
6. MYTH: Everyone has access to hospice and palliative care
FACT: Though every person has the right to hospice and palliative care, there are many around the world who do not have access to hospice and palliative care. For example, in Canada, only 16-30% of people have access to hospice palliative care.
7. MYTH: Having hospice and palliative care means you will die soon.
FACT: Hospice and palliative care is not just for the end of life. It is a holistic approach that includes caregiver support, spiritual care, bereavement and much more.