Palliative care is insufficiently developed in Moldova, as patients have limited access to palliative care services, finds a report published today by the Ombudsman Mihai Cotorobai.
The report – which examines how Moldova has been implementing the World Health Organization’s recommendations on strengthening palliative care as a component of integrated treatment – shows that most hospitals do not have the necessary equipment or qualified personnel to provide palliative care services.
“Palliative care is only provided for cancer conditions, whereas such services should cover a much wider range of chronic and degenerative diseases,” said Mihai Cotorobai.
According to the Ombudsman, palliative care in Moldova is poorly provided and limited through the public system, both for outpatient care – only 36 home visits per year, and inpatient care – only 30 visits per year.
As the healthcare and volunteer sectors are poorly developed all the palliative care issues are left to health workers.
Another finding of the study is that there is not an accurate pain assessment at primary health care level (21.6% of cases), and 79.8% of family doctors are reluctant to prescribe opioid pain relief treatment.
Andrei Matei, head of the National Health Insurance Company, said that the institution pays 26 million lei per year for palliative care services. "The funding is not enough, but we increase the amount every year. CNAM will ensure palliative care providers with professional health workers”, said Andrei Matei.
The report was compiled by the Ombudsman’s Office with the support of Soros Foundation Moldova’s Public Health Program.