Published on: August 22, 2012

A palliative care pioneer, the celebrated Dr Derek Doyle laments about the current status of integration of palliative care into medical practice.

Please read his moving article in the IAHPC newsletter,

I Had A Dream!

Like the great Martin Luther King ‘I had a dream!’  In my case it was shared by hundreds of fellow countrymen in the UK and countless thousands worldwide. It was an exciting dream that I prayed would become a reality – dignity and compassionate care would be recognised as basic human rights, and the principles of palliative care would be adopted as integral components of all care worldwide.

I thought my dream was coming true. First there were palliative care units, then community services, then hospital teams. Degree courses in palliative care nursing became available country-wide. Every medical school introduced palliative medicine into the curriculum (though, it must be admitted, in much more depth in some than others) and every family doctor (GP) had to demonstrate knowledge of it. There are now more palliative medicine specialists in the UK than there are neurologists and oncologists combined. There is no denying that palliative care nursing and palliative medicine are respected and now attractive to increasing numbers of young nurses and doctors.

Read the full article here…

But we from low income countries look at what you and people like you have achieved at least in the high income countries, Derek. True, there is a long way to go, but you give us hope.

Thank you for your article.

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