“Leave No One Behind – Equity in Access to Palliative Care”

Marinela Olăroiu, MD, PhD, Chief-in-editor PALIAŢIA

The pandemic has shown, that access to palliative care is still a problem. Therefore, the title of the World Hospice and Palliative Care Day is well chosen. Despite the ‘acceptance’ of palliative care as a public-health concern, the reality may look different as figures in the UK indicate (see News in this issue). On the other hand, one may argue, that the need for palliative care is demonstrated by the pandemic. It is not only care in hospices. Palliative care has to be possible at home, especially when there is no place elsewhere. And the pandemic did show, that this is happening in the ‘real world’.

The articles in this issue underline the potentials and need for integration of palliative care in each health care system. Yes, surgery may be useful in the last year of life. And protocols are needed in each specialty: primary health care, physiotherapy, surgery etc. And ‘thinking in advance’ (i.e. screening for palliative care needs) may contribute to ‘a good death’. Could it be that we still have to discover what ‘a good death’ means? Let’s face it: access to palliative care is still a major problem.

‘Leave no one behind’. The Editorial Board regret the loss of a well-respected member Prof Dr. Ostin Mungiu and is thankful for his contribution. Let us compensate this loss with new energy, activities, studies, protocols and above all the availability of palliative care for all in need. Equity in access to palliative care is – unfortunately – still an urgency in Romania as is the improvement (i.e. reform) of the whole health care system. The Editorial Board is inviting you to send in your proposals.