PALLIATIVE CARE – ITS ROLE IN HEALTHCARE SYSTEMS
AbstractBackground. In the last decades a palliative care has been well established in the majority of West European countries. However, majority of these countries are not able to follow needs for palliative care because of demographic changes (older population), changes of morbidity pattern (increase of chronic progressive diseases) and social changes (disability of families to care for their relatives at their homes). Research is showing evidence on palliative care effectiveness at end of life and in bereavement. There is still a great need for healthcare professionals’ change in their attitudes, knowledge and skills. In many National strategic plans (United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand and Canada) palliative care becomes a priority in the national public health. New organizational planning supports establishement of palliative care departments in hospitals and other healthcare settings and consultant teams at all levels of healthcare system. Hospices, caritative and independent organizations, will remain as a source of good clinical practice and philosophy of care at the end of life also in the future.
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