The Pan American Health Organization, in collaboration with the University of Miami Institute for the Americas convened a palliative care work group on 8th and 9th December 2016 at PAHO headquarters. The objective of the group was to discuss, review and document country case-studies on effective models for palliative care services in Latin America and the Caribbean.
During the meeting, the representatives from Ministries of Health shared information about how palliative care programs are organized, delivered and financed within their health systems. Representatives from the Lancet Commission on Global Access to Palliative Care presented a framework and methodology for the development of country case-studies on effective models for palliative care, as well, the possible information sources, with a view to publish these studies in future.
This meeting was in support of the World Health Assembly Resolution on Palliative Care (WHA 67.19), which established government commitments to improve palliative care services. This commitment is also reinforced by the Member States of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in the Regional Plan of Action on the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable diseases. In Latin America and the Caribbean, however, there are many gaps in effective and equitable palliative care services. Many countries have only limited services confined in large hospitals, with restrictive policies for pain medication. The limited development of palliative care policies is a result of many factors, including lack of knowledge about effective policies and models of palliative care delivery. In addition, cultural, ethical, social and religious considerations about death, along with misconceptions and fear about addictive aspects of opioids, are barriers to improve access to palliative care services. The country case studies will provide information on how to improve access to palliative care services, based on successful experiences in Latin America and the Caribbean.
- Overview of the PAHO Work Group on Palliative Care
- Perspectives of the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care on the Country Case Studies (in spanish)
- Costa Rica case study on palliative care services
- Mexico case study on palliative care services: part 1
- Mexico case study part 2: Addressing the gaps in pain control and palliative care in Mexico (in spanish)
- Chile case study on palliative care services
- Colombia case study on palliative care services
- Advances in the national palliative care program in Panama (in spanish)