28 February, 2015
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Palliative Care Policy Development

October 16-18

Budapest, Hungary

Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Hungary, Lithuania, Moldova, Mongolia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia

Conference Goal: 
To develop a better understanding of the essential aspects of policy, law and regulation which influence and govern the integration of palliative care into the health care systems in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union.

 Conference Objectives: 

 •  To develop a document that reflects the best practices of palliative care in the region along with example copies of existing government policies, laws and regulations governing the implementation of palliative care

•  To increase an understanding of the process to be followed in order to integrate palliative care into national health care policy and systems

•  To increase an understanding and respect for the contributions made by all key stakeholders

•  To develop a document which provides a country by country palliative care needs assessment with epidemiologic and ethnographic data

Conference Evaluation [view evaluation]

To view conference presentations and other materials, please go to the agenda below and click on links next to each presentation title.

Conference Agenda  [word format]

Conference Agenda




 Thursday, 16 October



Registration  [Participants list] [Speakers and Facilitators]



Chair 08:30 to 12:00: Mary Callaway, M.E. Associate Director, Palliative Care Initiative Network Public Health Program, Open Society Institute, USA


Welcome & Goals of the Meeting (Days Hotel Rege)
- Katalin Muszbek, MD Medical Director, Hungarian Hospice Foundation
- Kathleen Foley, Dr. Attending Neurologist, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center;  Director, Palliative Care Initiative Network Public Health Program, Open Society Institute, USA


Introduction—Group Exercise of Participants
Mary Callaway


Palliative Care as a Public Health Issue for CEE & OSI’s Regional Experience
- Kathleen Foley [view presentation] [view article]
- Mary Callaway [view presentation]


WHO Perspective on Palliative Care in the Context of Cancer and HIV/AIDS
- Cecilia Sepulveda,  Dr. Coordinator Program on Cancer Control, World Health Organization Geneva, Switzerland [view presentation]
- Virginia O’Dell, R.N., M.S.N., F.N.P., Technical Officer HIV Department and Department of Health Service Provision, World Health Organization, Switzerland [view abstract] [view presentation]


Coffe Break


European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC)  & EAPC-East
Carl Johan Furst, MD PhD European Association for Palliative Care-EAST, Sweden [view presentation]


Report of The Council of Europe Committee of Experts on the Organisation of Palliative Care 
Tony O’Brien, Dr. M.B.  F.R.C.P.I., Medical Director, Marymount Hospice &
Consultant Physician in Palliative Medicine, Cork University Hospital, Ireland
[view abstract] [view presentation]



Chair 13:00 to 17:00:  Jan Stjernsward, MD  PhD  FRCP(Edin) former Professor Oncology and Chief Cancer and Palliative Care, WHO, presently International Director Oxford International Centre for Palliative Care and WHO Collaborating Centre, Oxford UK


The Catalonian Experience
Xavier Gomez Batiste, Head Palliative Care Service, Institut Catala d'Oncologia l'Hospitalet Barcelona, Spain [view presentation]  [view article]


Polish Experiences in Palliative – Hospice Care
Jacek Luczak, Prof MD PhD FRCP Director of Chair and Department of Palliative Medicine and Hospice Palium, Karol Marcinkowski University of Medical Sciences in Poznan, Poland  [view abstract]  [view presentation - Polish Experiences]  [Polish Standards]  [AIDS PROGRAM IN POLAND]  [ view presentation- ECEPT]  [ECEPT paper page1] [ECEPT paper page2]  [ECEPT and Education Center]  [ECEPT Board]


The Austrian Experience
Johann Baumgartner, MD Director Coordination Palliative Care Styria, Austria
[view abstract] [view presentation]


The US Experience
Donald Schumacher, Dr. President & Chief Executive Officer, National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization, USA [view presentation]


A Questionnaire Survey of Palliative Care Provision and Needs in the Twelve Countries Represented at the Palliative Care Development Conference, Budapest
Michael Wright, PhD Senior Research Fellow, International Observatory on End of Life Care, Institute for Health Research, UK  [view abstract] [view presentation]  [OSI Survey Report]  [VIEW FROM THE OBSERVATORY]


Coffee Break


Palliative Care Standards 
- Urska Lunder, MD Director, Palliative Care Development Institute, Slovenia  
- Carl Johan Furst
[view abstract]  [view presentation]  [PALLIATIVE CARE STANDARDS]






Social Program – Sight-Seeing

Friday, 17 October

Chair 9:00 to 11:00: Kathleen Foley


Policies pragmatic approaches and actions
Jan Stjernsward  [view article]


WHO Solid Facts of Palliative Care & Palliative Care for the Elderly (two WHO monographs)
Irene Higginson, BM BS FFPHM PhD Professor and Head of Department of Palliative Care and Policy, Guy's, King's and St. Thomas' School of Medicine, Weston Education Centre, UK [view presentation] [PC SOLID FACTS] [BETTER PC FOR OLDER PEOPLE]


How to Do a Palliative Care Needs Assessment for Your Country
Irene Higginson [view presentation]


Coffee Break


Country Team Meetings


Joint Discussion of Country Groups




- Group I: What are the steps necessary to integrate palliative care into national health care
- Group II: What policies, laws/legislation or standards are needed
- Group III: What changes in financing need to be addressed to include palliative care  


Return to Country Team Meeting


Social Program - Special Dinner, Music and Dance (Days Hotel Rege)

Saturday, 18 October



Country Teams Develop Action Plans






Chair 13:30 to 15:00: Mary Callaway



Country Teams Report to Entire Group Their Action Plan and Timetable for Completion
   Bulgaria [view presentation]
   Croatia  [view presentation]
   Czech Republic  [view presentation]
   Georgia [view presentation]
   Hungary [view presentation]
   Lithuania  [view presentation]
   Moldova  [view presentation]
   Mongolia  [view presentation] [view article]
   Poland  [view presentation]
   Romania [view presentation]
   Slovakia [view presentation]
   Slovenia [view presentation]


Closing Discussion


Visit to Hungarian Hospice Foundation 






Conference Report [view report]

Conference evaluation [view evaluation]
Photographs  [view photographs] [photographs part II]  [photographs part III]


Additional material:

1. Kathleen M Foley MD, Felicity Aulino, and Jan Stjernsward, MD, PhD, RRCP: “Palliative Care in Resource – Poor Settings” [download]

2. Peter A. Singer and Kerry W. Bowman “Quality end-of-life care: A global perspective”  [download]

3. Kathleen M. Foley, M.D., Mary V. Callaway, M.E., "The Palliative Care Initiative in Central and Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union"  [download]

4. Kathleen M. Foley, M.D., Mary V. Callaway, M.E., "Palliative Care Initiative in South Africa" [download



P R O G R A M   O R G A N I Z E R S


The Open Society Institute (OSI) is a private operating and grantmaking foundation based in New York City that serves as the hub of the Open Society Network, a group of autonomous foundations and organizations in over 50 countries. This network implements a range of initiatives that aim to promote open society by shaping government policy and supporting education, media, public health and human and women’s rights, as well as social, legal and economic reform. To diminish and prevent the negative consequences of globalization, the Network seeks to foster global open society by increasing collaboration with other nongovernmental organizations, governments and international institutions. OSI was created in 1993 by investor and philanthropist George Soros to support his foundations in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Those foundations were established, starting in 1984, to help former communist countries in their transition to democracy. The Network has expanded its geographic reach to include foundations and initiatives in Africa, Central Asia and the Caucasus, Haiti, Latin America, Mongolia, Southeast Asia, Turkey and the United States. OSI also supports selective projects in other parts of the world.  

OSI's Network Public Health Programs in CEE and the FSU focus on promoting effective public health policy development, supporting the development of a population-oriented public health infrastructure, strengthening the capacity of professional organizations to develop and implement quality standards and professional ethics, and promoting public involvement in health. 



Hungarian Hospice Foundation

The Hungarian Hospice Foundation has been providing specialist care for terminally ill cancer patients since 1991. The Foundation’s aim is to provide high quality treatment, reduce suffering, maintain the patient’s physical and intellectual well-being, provide emotional and spiritual support to both the patient and family and improve and stabilise the quality of life in the period leading up to the patient’s death. Since the Foundation was set up the organisation has promoted the hospice approach in Hungary. The Hungarian Hospice Foundation is the first and ever since leading organisation in Hungary to provide hospice home care to terminally ill patients. Our services have served as a model and provided back-up support for an increasing number of organisations providing hospice home care treatment and for those hospital departments providing hospice services. The Foundation was selected from 48,000 other organisations and was awarded the Non-Governmental Organisation of Hungary Award 2001.

A major project of the Hungarian Hospice Foundation had been to acquire and equip Hungary’s first independent hospice, the Budapest Hospice House. The Budapest Hospice House represents a further stage in the development and improvement of services for the entire hospice movement in Hungary. It opened in 2002 as a new office to home care running from 1991, a day centre, an outpatient pain clinic, an outpatient psychooncology service, and is going to expand to include an inpatient unit. Budapest Hospice House also serves as a training and resource centre of the region for those professionals and lay people who are interested in hospice, wish to improve their knowledge, or set up a new hospice. Courses are offered to all hospice team members, other health-care professionals, and lays.




Open Society Fund–Lithuania (OSFL) is an independent, non-governmental, non-profit organisation, founded in 1990. Its primary aim has been to support the development of an open, democratic, civil society in Lithuania during its transitional period. Throughout the years of its activities the OSFL and its partners have initiated and stimulated changes in self-management and self-government, human rights, dissemination of multinational culture, education, science and information, and other areas that produce the greatest impact on the formation of a free and creative personality and civil responsibility. Nearly 50 million US dollars have gone towards the achievement of those objectives.

The mission of the OSFL is to foster an open society, to strengthen its ideals and values at the level of governmental institutions, to prevent the monopoly of power and single truth. The building of an open society is a never-ending process involving a continuous change of challenges in a dynamic reality, discussions on the values of an open society, fostering the skills of analytical thinking and meeting the challenges of the future. The Foundation works in its priority areas through the Science and Education, Culture, Law, Civic Initiatives, Information, Public Health, Baltic-American Partnership and other programs. More information about OSFL activities is available at http://www.osf.lt and http://politika.osf.lt.

The general aim of all the public health programs is to contribute to the implementation of the major social rights in the area of medical care, to influence state health policies, to facilitate changes in people’s attitude toward their health, to create equal possibilities for everybody, the most vulnerable in particular, to access medical care and relevant information by implementing the principle “healthy individual – healthy society”. This aim was pursued through ten programs of the Open Society Institute network.

Open Society Fund-Lithuania began overseeing logistical administration of the Open Society Institute’s Network Public Health Program’s Seminar Series in January 2003.


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