Credit: policywonks.inAnnie Pannelay, author of the report, said to The Telegraph, “The United Kingdom is an acknowledged leader in palliative care”.
It was done because past research showed that caregivers place more emphasis on life extension and will pay more for moderately life-extending treatments than patients; but it was not known if patients themselves or the public felt the same way, said Dr Eric Finkelstein, director of the LCPC, which led the study.
The countries with the worst end-of-life care are Iraq, Bangladesh, Philippines, Nigeria, Myanmar, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Iran, Botswana and China. Australia & New Zealand were ranked 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Lien Foundation’s 2014 Death Attitudes survey found that only half of Singaporeans were aware of hospice palliative care and only one-third of respondents could correctly define what hospice care was.
Mongolia and Panama have received appreciation as despite being less wealthy and less well developed healthcare systems, they have managed to attain number 28 and 21 ranks on the list.
About 34 of 80 countries provided what could be classed as good end-of-life care – and these accounted for just 15 per cent of the adult population. Uganda was 35th for efforts to improve pain control. But the care for people hasn’t been kept up. This quite simply is not good enough.
The rankings were worked out following assessments for the quality of the hospitals and hospice environments, staffing numbers and skills, affordability of care and quality of care. This category was based on research into psychological support, painkiller availability, monitoring standards for palliative care organisations, and the presence of “do not resuscitate” policies. The report also warned that all countries needed to improve in order to cope with future demands of this aging population which is now starting to increasingly face drawn out illnesses like cancer, dementia and heart disease.
“There can be no room for complacency, especially as the demand for palliative care is increasing”, said Claire Henry, from the National Council for Palliative Care.
“We also know that people at the end of life often lack co-ordinated care, meaning people end up in hospital when they have no medical need to be there, causing a significant strain on the NHS”.
“Quality care costs money and if we are to maintain the world-leading service we can offer our most vulnerable, we must ensure that donations and government backing are increased, with a growing need for end of life care in society”. They even got a ideal score as far as care quality was concerned.