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2017 World Hospice and Palliative Care Day Special Lecture: “Universal Health Coverage and Palliative Care: Don’t Leave Those Suffering Behind”

Author: Christopher A. Klinger, PhD and Raza M. Mirza, PhD; National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly (NICE)
21 November 2017

The National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly’s (NICE) End-of-Life Issues Theme Team - in collaboration with the Global Institute of Psychosocial, Palliative and End-of-Life Care (GIPPEC), and the Institute for Life Course and Aging (ILCA) at the University of Toronto - hosted the annual World Hospice and Palliative Care Day Special Lecture at the Toronto General Hospital (TGH) in Toronto, Ontario on November 02, 2017.

Organized in connection with World Hospice and Palliative Care Day (http://www.worldday.org) as a unified day of action, the event highlighted the international hospice and palliative care movements with the aim of raising awareness and understanding toward the various medical, social, practical and spiritual needs of people living with a life-limiting illness and their families. The Day itself was organised by a committee of the Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance (WHPCA) as a network of hospice and palliative care national and regional organisations that support the development of the movement across the globe.

In front of a live audience and via videoconference/live webcast through the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN), Christopher A. Klinger, PhD of the National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly (http://www.nicenet.ca) welcomed this year’s distinguished speakers on behalf of the host organizations and reminded the audience of further joint networking opportunities/the evidence-based tools developed by NICE and available from its website (http://www.nicenet.ca/cart-nice/gallery.aspx?pg=132&gp=57&ret=gallery) in multiple languages.

Jennifer Gibson, PhD - Director of the Joint Centre for Bioethics at the University of Toronto and a Board member of the Global Institute of Psychosocial, Palliative and End-of-Life Care (GIPPEC; http://www.gippec.org/) - provided a brief overview on the organization and its ongoing research activities – including an upcoming symposium on palliative care needs of Muslim patients with terminal disease (January 2018).

Stephen R. Connor, PhD - Executive Director of the Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance (WHPCA; http://www.thewhpca.org/) who brings 35+ years of palliative care experience as a licensed health psychologist, advocate, author, consultant, educator and executive - focused on the work of the Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance in the international context in his Special Lecture – providing  an overview on the recently released Lancet Commission Report (http://www.thelancet.com/commissions/palliative-care) that highlighted that more than 25.5 million people die every year with serious health suffering that requires palliative care. Further discussion on advocacy, mapping and service provision brought the theme of the Day “Universal Health Coverage and Palliative Care – Don't Leave Those Suffering Behind” to full circle.

A podcast of the lecture is available for free via the website of the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN). For access, please click here (http://mediasite.otn.ca/Mediasite/Play/98a15f0b7b8d445db30aeb08c8bc79a81d?catalog=fd668812-d87c-47f9-b1ba-6d979fed9af4).

(Photo: Jennifer Gibson, PhD (GIPPEC); P. Lynn McDonald, PhD (NICE), Esme Fuller-Thomson, PhD (ILCA) and Stephen R. Connor, PhD (WHPCA); Photo Credit: Christopher A. Klinger, PhD)  

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