We are writing to you to request a meeting to discuss how we can move forward to enable access to an essential package of palliative care to all who need it as a critical component of achieving Universal Health Coverage.
As you know, the Sustainable Development Goals included a target under the health goal to ‘Achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all’.
On October 14 2017, over 70 countries around the world are joining together to celebrate World Hospice and Palliative Care Day. The theme this year is ‘Palliative care and Universal Health Coverage: Do not leave those suffering behind’.
As defined by the World Health Organization, ‘Universal health coverage (UHC) means that all people and communities can use the promotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative health services they need, of sufficient quality to be effective, while also ensuring that the use of these services does not expose the user to financial hardship.” However, access to palliative care is often a neglected issue.
In this country, we are making good strides in raising awareness and improving access to palliative care services. We are showing how palliative care can be a cost-effective approach that treats the suffering of people living with serious conditions and supports their carers and family members. However, there is much more to be done to achieve access to essential palliative care for all those who need it.
We would welcome the opportunity to discuss with the Ministry of Health how we can work together to ensure that we succeed with the Sustainable Development Goal of achieving Universal Health Coverage by 2030 and to ensure that those suffering from serious conditions are not left behind.