REVIEW – June-July 2022

Palliative care as a primary health care service: definition, norms and traditions

Authors: Piret Paal, Ülle Krikmann, Katrin Sikk, Pille Taba, Katrin Elmet, Kadri Suija

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In 2018, the International Association for Hospice & Palliative Care (IAHPC) conducted a study, including a survey with over 400 IAHPC members from 88 countries, to develop a consensus-based definition of palliative care. Following the structure of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) definition of palliative care (2002), it consists of two sections: an introductory statement and a list of components in bullet points. The third section is a set of recommendations for governments. This article presents and clarifies the Estonian translation released in 2019, explains the
concepts used in the definition, and introduces palliative care as a primary health service in the light of existing norms and practices.