The crucial need to prioritise palliative care in Universal Health Care – The European Sting – Critical News & Insights on European Politics, Economy, Foreign Affairs, Business & Technology

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This article is written exclusively for The European vein by Ms. Fatima Irshad, a nineteen-year-old first-year medical student enrolled at Sheikh Zayed Medical College, Pakistan. She is a member of the International Federation of Student Medical Associations (IFMSA), a heartfelt partner of The Sting. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of IFMSA on the subject or that of the European Sting.

As an integral and integral part of basic health services, palliative care requires a fair and sufficient provision of resources aimed at optimizing the quality of life for patients with serious and / or life-threatening diseases. Although palliative care has long been recognized by the World Health Organization as a major mandate in health care, it is still poorly recognized in many parts of the world. That is why it is important to advocate for palliative care to be included in the UHC on Universal Health Day this December.

One of the main ideas behind palliative care is to minimize suffering and provide resources such as medicines and life support machines, the main reason attributed to the right of everyone to receive primary health care. This includes human resources such as nurses, social, spiritual, psychological assistance, if and when needed.

An estimated 61.5 million people worldwide suffer from a variety of health conditions in need of palliative care. While several countries promise palliative care as part of a universal health care package, millions of people around the world are left without it. These people include people of all ages – children, adults, the elderly. Diseases range from painful conditions to life-threatening suffering. Some of these conditions are communicative and others are non-infectious. Palliative care provides significant assistance to all such people and their families.

Palliative care is cost-effective and allows the patient, if possible, to receive the necessary care on site of their choice. This reduces the cost of hospitalization and unnecessary laboratory tests. In this way, it does not financially burden the patient’s family.

For the above reasons, palliative care deserves its rightful place in universal health coverage. States and their governments, as well as people from all communities, must unite in an effort to provide quality health care to every individual who requires it. The masses can make a huge contribution to this cause by being aware of this need, advocating for it on all platforms and helping those in need to access it. In addition, states must ensure that palliative care is central to their political governments’ health programs.

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 care. If presented responsibly and effectively, one day the world will wake up to a day when no one should compromise their healthy quality of life due to a lack of necessary facilities. And we must not stop advocating for this until the request is met.

About the author

Fatima Irshad is a 19-year-old first-year medical student enrolled at Sheikh Zayed Medical College in Pakistan. She is very active in medical awareness campaigns and is also associated with IFMSA-Pakistan. As an ambitious medical professional and occasional writer, she considers it an honor to express her views and advocate for legitimate causes in medicine through literary expression.