Algarve hosts palliative care congress

“It is a national emergency.” Thousands of Portuguese every year need ‘end-of-life’ palliative care, but only a tiny minority receive it. According to APCP (the Portuguese palliative care association), around 90% of the population that needs palliative care in Portugal goes without. The public health service, as well as entities outside the system, “are incapable of responding to the needs of thousands of people, every year”, says the association.
Thus, in a bid to redress the balance, APCP is hosting a three-day national conference at Hotel Tivoli in Carvoeiro from March 27 to 29.
It is time, says APCP president Manuel Luís Capelas, for a national palliative care programme – one that can give quality of life to both patients and families. Number one priority, he says, “should be the creation of a network of home-based palliative care services that would support the state hospitals using trained healthcare professionals”.
This objective and many others will be debated at the conference which is expected to attract as many as 600 doctors, nurses and sundry health workers.