Journal article

Behind the rhetoric: is palliative care equitably available for all?

Rosalind Lau, Margaret O'Connor

Contemporary Nurse | Published : 2012

Abstract

Disparities in access to health care also extend to the end-of-life care. Despite the general principle that palliative care is equitably available for all in need, it remains underutilised by certain groups in the community. Ethnic minorities, older people and patients with non-cancer diseases are found to be at a greatest risk for underutilisation of palliative care. Barriers to access palliative care by these groups in the community are complex and often overlapping. To overcome these barriers, there is a need to take action on many fronts. This paper discusses these barriers and provides an overview of the strategies that have been implemented to address these issues.