Paliative care and Universal Healthcare

(Sharon McCutcheon, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Manisha Das, a medical student in Dhaka Medical College and Hospital, Bangladesh. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


If you or your loved one are living with severe life threatening illness like cancer, HIV,COPD etc,,you may need to undergo symptomatic follow up ,seeking for help and support to lessen stress, pressure and improving life some kind of easy going . In this circumstance, Palliative Care can reduce your complications!

So now what is Palliative Care?

The word Palliative itself means ‘relieving’. So thereby, palliative care stands for a specialized medication for those who are suffering from serious illness , to alleviate their pain ,as well as upgrading their psychological and spiritual mindsetting.

Who are involved in this treatment process? Not only the patient but also corresponding family members are also included into this care. A well trained doctors team, nurses, other specialists who work with patient’s other consultants to render extra layer of support. The main focus is to relieve stress and pain. And the

expected goal is betterment of quality of life both for patient and the family.

Like, It is a TEAM WORK!

What is UHC?                                        UHC, which is an abbreviation of United Health Coverage , is used as a term in which people irrespective of cast and creeds can access preventive, promotive , curative , rehabilitative, palliative care as their demand as well as ensuring that these services doesn’t tend to drive them into financial crises.

Why this Palliative Care is needed to be as an Essential Package under UHC program?            

As palliative care is greatly needed by serious ill ridden patients and when it’s a matter of to include it into UHC, Palliative care should have to fulfill THREE criterias of UHC.

  • Providing care to all people who need and it should be delivered irrespective of age, sex ,gender, nationality .
  • Treatment should be promotive, preventive ,effective and curative type.
  • And also considering that whether patient doesn’t expose into financial hardship.

Now it can be literally said that, if we can combine these three along with relieving pain of chronic bed-ridden patient , palliative care will be surely more effective ,progressive. Because the expected target of palliative care is Collaboration of  patient physically , mentally and financially.

Now, here are  some measures to include palliative care under UHC

  • Introduction and mass awareness

First of all try to establish a crystal clear image about  palliative care among people , so that they feel free to access  and  co-operate, Beside of this, raise awareness by spreading importance ,impaction, effectiveness of palliative care as a part UHC.

  • Promotion and accessibility

Palliative care should be included as a part of Health Act worldwide. Each and every people should have the right to access it. Also it should be made cost free so that people from limiting condition don’t face economic hardship.

  • Training on it from core level

As it’s a specialized care, proper training and management should be started from foundation level. Guide and train doctors , nurses , community  health workers from the very primary level.

  • Mentoring patient and the family

Support and mentor the patient and family members to achieve this curative care and advantage of regaining quality of life as a part of UHC to reflect their true and current needs.

  • Planing of agenda and future management to spread it to all region

Take initiative for announcements, publications, training, establishment of palliative care to make it available in every nook and corner of the world under UHC.

About the author

Ms. Manisha Das is a medical student in Dhaka Medical College and Hospital, Bangladesh

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