Unanimous support for the creation of palliative care units
The Andalusian parliament has unanimously approved a motion that will see, with immediate effect, the creation of a network of paediatric palliative care services in both community hospitals and at home.
“It will assist the most vulnerable”, said president of the Andalusian branch of the Partido Popular (PP-A), Juanma Moreno. The initiative has also been signed by other parties with parliamentary representation.
The parliament urges the Junta (the regional authority) to ensure the continuity of paediatric hospice care “for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year”, including home care. It is estimated that 80 per cent of children die in their own homes.
The network will work with district and city hospitals and will be launched in two phases, the first of which within three months.
In the first phase, two children’s palliative care units will be created, one in Seville and the other in Malaga; and in the second phase new specific units will be established in other provinces.
A report will be compiled to establish exactly how many professionals currently working in Andalucía already have expertise in palliative care for children and where they are currently posted. A training programme for professionals will also be developed.
“An important day”
Juanma Moreno pointed out that the creation of the palliative care unit in hospitals in Andalucía was necessary and could be easily implemented by the regional government. “Today is a very important day for Andalusian families,” he said, stressing that for a long time there has been the need to implement a model that alleviates the difficulties and pain for small children suffering terminal illnesses and their families.
During the debate, groups, in particular PP-A and Podemos, expressed their full backing for the initiative and stressed that they will be vigilant to see the Junta carries out the proposal and project within the planned time period.
On behalf of the PSOE parliamentarian Jesús Ruiz said that the Andalusian government will continue with their commitment to continue promoting health care programmes and highlighted the importance of an agreement on such a sensitive issue.
Marta Escrivá of Ciudadanos said that in Spain only ten per cent of children that need this type of care receive it, yet in Andalucía there are 1,200 children who suffer from terminal illnesses.
She proposed the creation of paediatric specialisation for these units as well as extending the time-off from work that families can take so that they can better cope with these situations.source surinenglish