The crucial need to prioritise palliative care in Universal Health Care

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Fatima Irshad, a nineteen year old, first year medical student currently enrolled in Sheikh Zayed Medical College, Pakistan. 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.


Being a constitutive and integral component of essential health care servies, palliative care calls for equitable and sufficient provision of resources aimed at optimising the quality of life for patients with serious and/or life-threatening illnesses. Although palliative care has been long recognised by the World Health Organisation as a core mandate in healthcare, it is still largely under-acknowledged in many parts of the world. This is why it’s important to advocate for palliative care to be included in UHC on Universal Health Care day this december.

One of the primary ideas behind palliative care is to minimise suffering and provide resources such as medicines and life-support machines, the underlying reason attributed to thr right of every individual to receive primary healthcare. This also includes human resources like nurses , social, spiritual, psychological aid if and when needed.

According to an estimate, some 61.5 million people across the world, suffering from various different health conditions, crucially require palliative care. While several countries promise palliative care as part of the universal health coverage package, millions of people across the globe go without. These people include individuals of all ages- children, adults, elderly. The diseases range from painful conditions to life-limiting sufferings. Some of these conditions are communicable and others are non-communicable. Palliative care provides essential help to all such people and their families.

Palliative care is cost effective and allows the patient to, if possible, receive necessary assistance in a place of his own choice. This cuts down the finances of hospitalisation and unnecessary laboratory tests. In this way, it doesn’t put a financial strain on the patient’s family.

For the reasons mentioned above, palliative care deserves a rightful place in universal health coverage. The countries and their governments, as well as the people of all communities, must unite in an attempt to ensure quality healthcare to every individual that requires it. The masses can make a huge contribution to this cause by being well-aware of this necessity, advocating for it on all platforms and helping those who require it to get access to it. In addition, nations should ensure palliative care holds a fundamental place in healthcare agendas of their political governments.

It must be understood that health is not a privilege, but a key human right and everyone must have proper and sufficient access to palliative aid. If represented responsibly and effectively, one day the world would wake up to a day when noone would have to compromise the health quality of one’s life because of lack of necessary facilities. And for that, we must not stop advocating until the demand has been met.

About the author

Fatima Irshad is a nineteen year old, first year medical student currently enrolled in Sheikh Zayed Medical College, Pakistan. She is highly active in medical awareness campaigns and is also associated with IFMSA-Pakistan. As an aspiring medical professional and occasional writer, she deems it an honour to express her views and advocate for rightful causes in the field of medicine through way of literary expression.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Europe should make voice ‘more heard’ in today’s ‘dangerous world,’ says UN chief

The revenge of the fallen

Syrian crisis is ‘clearest example’ of foreign investment in terrorism, Deputy Prime Minister says at UN

This Syrian national has been trapped at Kuala Lumpur airport for 3 months

European Commission calls on national political parties to join efforts to ensure free and fair elections in Europe

Back to the Basics: Primary Healthcare

Learning lessons from across Europe – the hidden costs of COVID-19 on lung cancer

Eliminating gender based bias in medicine: the role of medical students

MEPs propose more transparent legislative drafting and use of allowances

Out with the old: Young People transforming Humanitarian Action

Parliament adopts deal to improve quality of tap water and reduce plastic litter

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Eaton Hydraulics by Danfoss, subject to conditions

5 ways to #BeatAirPollution

Security spillovers from Trump’s trade wars: China, Germany prepare for global disorder

Iceland’s slowdown underlines the need to fix structural issues

Wirecard: MEPs call for new audit rules, protection for whistle-blowers and EU supervision

Why salaries could finally be on the way up

Estonia: use robust growth to improve income equality and well-being

More funds needed to counter ‘persistent and multi-faceted humanitarian problems’ in Ethiopia

EU prolongs economic sanctions on Russia by six months

New energy security framework will help meet growing needs in East Africa, sustainably – UN economic wing

Postal workers in France are helping elderly people fight loneliness

We are witnessing a revolution in genomics – and it’s only just begun

Why transparency in drug pricing is more complicated than it seems

COP21 Breaking News_04 December: Launch of CREWS, climate risk & early warning systems

Merkel: Nationalism and egoism must never have a chance again in Europe

More funding needed to combat locust swarms ‘unprecedented in modern times’

Global warming: our responsibility

Beware the fragility of the global economy

Commission provides 20 cities with funding for innovative security, digital, environmental and inclusion projects

WHO and UNICEF in campaign to protect 1.6 million in Sudan from cholera

Falling inflation urges ECB to introduce growth measures today

Why are the financial markets shivering again?

‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ clean-up project launches trial run: UN Environment

EU labour mobility: Inconvenient truths for everybody

European Parliament and Eurovision sign partnership for European Elections

EU attempts to make new deal with Turkey as relations deteriorate

Technophobe or technophile? We need more conversation about digital transformation

‘Emulate his example’ urges UN chief as world celebrates Nelson Mandela: a ‘global advocate for dignity and equality’

MWC 2016 LIVE: Qualcomm looks to pick up Hamilton’s winning ways

EP and EU ministers agree on Erasmus+ programme for 2021-2027

My experience living with depression and schizophrenia in Thailand

Building cybersecurity capacity through benchmarking: the Global Cybersecurity Index

3 ways to rebuild trust in how we regulate technology

First calls under Horizon Europe to be launched by the European Research Council

Philanthropy must face a reckoning on race in 2021

New UN finance panel to push Global Goals forward

Conditions deteriorating alarmingly in Yemen, warns senior UN official

Commission reinforces tools to ensure Europe’s interests in international trade

EU mobilises emergency assistance for Croatia in the aftermath of devastating earthquake

Commission concludes that an Excessive Deficit Procedure is no longer warranted for Italy at this stage

Better ID card security to curb document fraud

Can we automate our way out of the savings crisis?

5 lessons for the future of universities

Things are bad and getting worse for South Africa. Or are they?

This is why AI has a gender problem

Commission paralysed before the banking leviathan

The world must pull together to stem the urgent crisis in our ocean

Alice in Colombia

The recipe for creativity involves a lot of ideas, and a short break

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s