Asia and Pacific Countries Strengthen Palliative Care for Cancer Patients
IAEA Wednesday 21st December, 2016
Participants from several countries highlighted common challenges in providing palliative care, including a severe shortage of trained health workers, misconceptions about actual needs for palliative care services and the lack of integration of palliative care programmes into national cancer control plans and health systems.
During the workshop, participants and experts identified country-specific priorities and high-impact actions that could improve access to palliative care for cancer patients within a two-year timeframe. The proposed actions focused on: improving understanding of palliative care among domestic policy- and decision-makers, enhancing the training of health professionals in palliative care and integrating palliative care efforts into the activities of existing health systems.
The event was organized by the IAEA in collaboration with the International Narcotics Control Board, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care, the World Health Organization, the Union for International Cancer Control and other international, regional and national organizations.
“Our region is not often on the radar of many world bodies when it comes to palliative care,” said Cynthia Goh, associate professor at the National Cancer Centre in Singapore and Chair of the Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network, “which is why workshops like these are essential.”