Palliative Care in the Health System of Iran: A Review of the Present Status and the Future Challenges

Document Type: Research Articles

Authors

1 Medicine, Quran and Hadith Research Center, Nursing Faculty, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Cancer Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 Trauma Research Center, Nursing Faculty, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

4 Health Management Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Abstract

Objectives: In the near future, the health system of Iran will face serious public health challenges means increase in the elderly population and the rate of chronic diseases. Therefore, it is anticipated that providing palliative care for chronic diseases will be one of the priorities of the country’s health system. The purpose of the present study was to explain the present status and the future challenges of providing palliative care in the health system of Iran and help policy-makers to create a future roadmap by presenting a picture of the present status.  Methods: In this qualitative study, 17 semi-structured interviews were conducted with policy-makers, researchers, and managers of the centers providing palliative care in 2018-2019. Interviews were analyzed using directed content analysis based on the Public Health Strategy and framework analysis. Results: According to the WHO Public Health Strategy, palliative care challenges categorized in 13 subcategory and four main category include policy-making, program implementation, comprehensive education and drug availability. Conclusion: Providing palliative care that is currently dispersed in some centers does not meet the needs of chronic diseases. Establishing the palliative care system as one of the major goals of the health system of Iran is possible through reforming the fourfold structure of policy-making, implementation, education and drug availability. Therefore, it is suggested that authorities perform comprehensive and systematic management of challenges using foresight methods.
 

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