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Palliative Care Globally & in Post-Soviet Countries

Stephen R Connor


Introduction: In this presentation attendees will learn about the current status of palliative care development globally and in post-Soviet countries using results from two major new studies. Measures in this presentation will include 1) need for palliative care, 2) level of palliative care development for adults and children using a six level schema for all countries for the period 2006 - 2017, 3) access to opioids for pain relief, 4) characteristics of the population needing palliative care including diagnoses, and 5) numbers of and capacity of service providers. There will be additional focus on the status of palliative care in Russia and the former Soviet republics and on the impact of the aging population on the need for palliative care globally, which is expected to almost double by 2060.


Aim/Methods: To describe the status of palliative care development globally using a series of standardized measures of progress. These measures are used in advocacy for palliative care and are included in a WHPCA/WHO publication titled Global Atlas of Palliative Care. In this presentation, being done in the country of Georgia, there will be a focus on the status of palliative care in the former Soviet republics.


Results & Discussion: Palliative care development in Russia and the former Soviet republics continues to be limited. Most countries are at early stages of palliative care development and face significant challenges in meeting the need for palliative care, addressing overly restrictive regulations limited access to essential palliative care medicines including opioids, lacking educational programs, financial & human resources, and national policies and strategies for implementation of services.


Conclusion: Globally palliative care is meeting less than 10% of the need worldwide. There are some special challenges in former Soviet countries as health care systems are undergoing reforms. Some countries such as Turkmenistan have no palliative care while others such as Kazakhstan and Belarus are beginning to be integrated into the health care system, providing models for how to overcome these challenges.



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ISSN: 2346-8491 (online)