Hot Topic - What Do You Hope for Palliative Care in Ten Years’ Time? What Do We Need to Do to Get There?




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Dec 15, 2016
by Yeji Park and Chris Hamill-Stewart
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Hot Topic - What Do You Hope for Palliative Care in Ten Years’ Time? What Do We Need to Do to Get There?

Participants discuss the "Hot Topic" for Day 1 of Rethinking Care Toward the End of life “What do you hope for palliative care in ten years’ time? What do we need to do to get there?”

“Incremental change would not be sufficient to reach the kind of state where people can have access to palliative care that supports people to achieve what they want as life reaches its end – this could be called a good death or a healthy death. It would take not even transformation, but a revolution to achieve that within a decade. There are so many potential actors who can begin the initiative. Wherever it starts, it would have to be coordinated and strategic in order to achieve what we need to.”
Albert Mulley
Managing Director, Global Health Care Delivery Science at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, USA

“In ten years, I want to see death integrated with life, and palliative care not being a side discipline but rather an integration of death as part of normal life... It’s going to take a revolution, but with cultural specificity acknowledging the different cultures. In other words, it’s not going to take the same face in the United States, in Rwanda, in France, in Germany, and so on.”
Veronique Roger
Medical Director of the Center for the Science of Healthcare Delivery, Mayo Clinic, USA

“We need to create an enabling environment for healthy death, so that when the time to leave the world comes, we can die in dignity surrounded by what we like, not in the cold, white environment of a hospital. For this to happen, we need a cultural recovery to readmit death with dignity as part of the ordinary life. To reach that, we need to have national debate about it, led by spiritual and community leaders, and we also need to educate all clinicians to respect death and to stop being afraid of it.”
Agnes Binagwaho
Professor, University of Global Health Equity, Rwanda

“In an ideal world, palliative care will have changed its role substantially in ten years. The expectation in the community is that if you have a life-threatening illness, you will get good palliative care, from primary and specialist care, and, if your needs are particularly complex, from specialized palliative care service. That’s going to take a grassroots revolution to occur, for communities to start asking for good palliative care. It’s going to take an enormous change to achieve that in ten years, though.”
David Currow
Chief Cancer Officer and Chief Executive Officer at Cancer Institute NSW, Australia

“I think health care has to change to keep up with aging populations, treatments that keep people alive longer, and it should start looking after people with mixed conditions as the norm, not the exception. Palliative care needs to be adjusted to follow these changes – it should become mainstream, not just an additional luxury. Palliative care should help people live well, by adding life to years, and health to years rather than just prolonging dying. I think to get there we need a complete turnaround in how we think of health care.”
Irene Higginson
Head of Department, Cicely Saunders Institute, King’s College London, UK

Want to join the conversation? Tweet @SalzburgGlobal using the hashtag #SGShealth

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