Palliative care need is on the rise: at least 42% more people will require care by 2040

In this podcast, Dr. Simon Etkind discusses the link between an ageing population and the increased need for end-of-life care. His study, recently published in BMC Medicine stresses that if health services are to cope with the demand by 2040, action is needed now.

Increased need means health services must change in order to care for those with complex illnesses towards the end of their life.  More training and education is needed for all health professionals and structural changes to services may be required.#

Simon stresses that action is needed now as it takes a long time to develop and change health services. For example, it takes 14 years to train a specialist palliative care consultant and 15 for a community geriatrician.

He also states that ‘unless we take action now, there won’t be enough people appropriately trained to look after people towards the end of life.  Health services must adapt now in order to adapt to the needs of the population’.

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