October 8: World Hospice & Palliative Care Day

WHPC Day graphic | The Hospice Insider

The Hospice Insider | October 7, 2016

Tomorrow is a unified day of action. On Saturday October 8th we celebrate and support hospice and palliative care around the globe on World Hospice and Palliative Care Day.

“All people with life threatening illness and their families need and deserve comfort care and pain management through palliative care services.” –WHPCA

It is organized by a network of hospice and palliative care national and regional organizations that support the development of hospice and palliative care around the globe, known as the Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance (WHPCA).

According to the WHPCA, the aims of World Hospice and Palliative Care Day are:

  • To share our vision to increase the availability of hospice and palliative care throughout the world by creating opportunities to speak out about the issues
  • To raise awareness and understanding of the needs – medical, social, practical, spiritual – of people living with a life limiting illness and their families
  • To raise funds to support and develop hospice and palliative care services around the world

The theme for 2016 is


As a result of 75% of the world population not having adequate access to controlled medications for pain relief, millions of people suffer from avoidable pain that could be managed with proper access to the correct medications. There are three major barriers that prevent people in need from accessing these medications.

  1. Restrictive Regulations: Unduly regulations restrict and limit access to pain relief and palliative care for people and families in need.
  2. Poor Education / Opiophobia: Opiophobia is the fear in the health professions of prescribing opioid medications, which prevents people from receiving pain relief. Doctors and nurses aren’t educated on how to manage pain, but they are taught that prescribing morphine and other opioids are dangerous and should be avoided.
  3. Economic Barriers: While morphine is inexpensive to produce, it is expensive to bring to market in places that have unduly regulations. This results in the pharmaceutical industry having no incentive to produce and market oral morphine for pain management.

 So you want to get involved? How do you help?

Educate yourself on morphine and visit the WHPCA website here. Share with someone you know who has the power to influence healthcare. Donate to WHPCA. Talk to someone you know about this issue.

About the Author

Emily McMahon
Emily McMahon is an Associate Editor for The Hospice Insider. As a writer and editor, she has years of experience and a keen interest in the hospice and palliative care industry.