Mapping levels of palliative care development: A global update

In 2011, 136 of the world’s 234 countries (58%) now have one or more hospice-palliative care services established an increase of 21 countries (+9%) from the previous project (2006). A regional analysis of palliative care development between 2006 and 2011 indicates that the most significant gains have been made in Africa, although the impact that the withdrawal of support by the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund from the region in 2012 will have on the continued development of palliative care is as yet unknown. A significant number of countries still have no hospice-palliative care provision and global development may best be described as ‘patchy’. Although there are indications of palliative care interest on the part of national governments and policymakers, advanced integration of palliative care with wider health services has only been achieved in 20 countries globally (8.5%). Despite increasing calls for palliative care to be recognized as a human right, there remains much to be done before palliative care is accessible to the worldwide community.
  • Access to controlled medicines

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