This has been an eventful year for palliative care in South Africa. We now have a National Policy Framework and Strategy for Palliative Care in South Africa!
We congratulate the Department of Health policy writing team and the national Steering Committee for Palliative Care led by Dr Sibogeseni Dhlomo, MEC for Health in KwaZulu Natal, in developing this policy in record time. The Steering Committee task teams have also contributed significant work and documents to guide the further development of palliative care in South Africa.
The Policy document recognises the contribution hospices have made in establishing palliative care in South Africa. It also acknowledges the important work hospices do in caring for patients in the community and the importance of hospice care as we move towards integrating palliative care into the health system.
The robust referral pathways described in the Policy will ensure that patients and families receive quality palliative care in the appropriate care setting. In addition to the new policy, HPCA is celebrating 30 year of supporting hospices in South Africa and this landmark will be recognised at the opening reception of the Pearls of Palliative care Symposium.
The scientific committee have developed a masterclass in palliative care to help healthcare professionals to manage patients with distressing physical and emotional symptoms. The National policy indicates that all health professionals should be skilled in palliative care and the knowledge and the skills in palliative care that will be enhanced through attendance at the symposium will equip health professional to help patients live with dignity and comfort.
See you on 6th of November in Pretoria, South Africa.