Friday, April 9, 2010

Slovenia Institutes National Palliative Care Program.

On Thursday the Slovenian government passed a bill that commences a national program on palliative care. From the article by Michael Roberts at

At present, Slovenia has no palliative care system or specific policy dealing with the issue. As a result of longer life-expectancy and the increasing number of chronic diseases (among the most common being cardiovascular conditions, cancer, chronic pulmonary diseases and diabetes) there is a pressing need for organised palliative care. Research shows that as many as 60 per cent of people at the end of life and 80 per cent of patients with advanced cancer require palliative care. On average, two family members per patient require certain treatment that is encompassed by the palliative care definition.

The main goals of establishing a system of organised comprehensive palliative care in Slovenia include:

- ensuring high quality, equal and accessible palliative care for all who require it, anywhere and without delay;

- continuous palliative care, with a patient’s record that includes all aspects of palliative care;

- ensuring efficient and transparent use of funds for palliative care;

- providing well coordinated palliative care to patients at all levels of the healthcare system, with institutional care operators providing daily and 24-hour services;

- providing education for basic and specialist palliative care;

- raising public awareness of the principles of, and need for palliative care


I spent a few weeks in Slovenia during my travels around the world in 2006 - 7 and have since, when asked, suggested that Slovenia was perhaps my favorite place. It's a beautiful country with all the European charm and quaintness. The country's overcome a horrid history, reclaimed it's traditional languages, worked hard to boost education and the economy. I'm intrigued but not surprised to hear that, with it's progressive social policies and attention to human welfare, Slovenia has made this step toward improving end of life care for her citizens.

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