Palliative Care in 2020 & Beyond Workshop: an expert symposium to develop palliative care advocacy in Turkey

Fahad Ahmed, Tezer Kutluk*, Meral Kirazli, Sema Yurduşen, Mustafa Cemaloğlu, Sabah Boufkhed, Meltem Şengelen, Burça Aydın, Richard Sullivan, Richard Harding

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: In 2014, the World Health Assembly called for improved access to palliative care (PC) as a core component of healthcare systems. Still, in 2019 the development of PC activism in Turkey was patchy in scope, care provision is isolated and services are limited in relation to population size. This workshop was aimed to increase understanding of the PC approach in cancer and to discuss holistic strategies for implementing PC for cancer in Turkey. Methods: The workshop hosted in February 2020 at Ankara was attended by 80 healthcare professionals, bureaucrats, and international PC experts. Panel discussions were held to determine the current status, shortcomings and specify solutions for future PC in cancer in Turkey. Results: Positive developments in PC after 2010 were acknowledged. Yet PC services are insufficient and mostly unavailable in the less developed regions. PC centers embedded in oncology hospitals were run by oncologists and follows classical cancer treatment protocol. It has emerged that the future need for specialized pc will be greater than anticipated. The latest regulations and the National Pallia-Turk project will provide a framework to develop nationwide PC activism. The barriers are; limited training, lack of integration into cancer care, public ignorance, and legislative issues to Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) orders. The contextual suggestions are; all healthcare workers must acquire a minimum knowledge and skills of PC. Home-based PC should be timely and responsive, coordination among patient's care stakeholders, Hospital-based PC for intensive symptom control or reduce caregiver burden. simultaneous cancer and PC to avoid late referral, legal arrangements for advance directives and DNR orders, and public awareness via mass media initiatives. Significance of Results: The workshop recommendation substantially contributes to the existence of PC policy and guidelines; will be useful for the development of comprehensive PC activism to address the future need of PC in Turkey.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100361
JournalJournal of Cancer Policy
Early online date15 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Cancer
  • Capacity building
  • Expert symposium
  • Palliative Care
  • Turkey


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