ESMO, together with other organisations, endorsed a joint statement on the resolution on the ‘WHO European framework for action to achieve the highest attainable standard of health for persons with disabilities 2022–2030’, at the 72nd Session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe, 12-14 September 2022, in Tel Aviv, Israel.
- Noted that the framework aligns with WHO Europe’s European Programme of Work, 2020–2022, which includes palliative care as part of the care continuum
- Noted that the WHO Life Course approach includes all age groups, and reminded Member States that they approved Human Rights Council Resolution 48/3 in 2021 on Older Persons that explicitly includes a right to palliative care as a component of the right to the highest attainable standard of health for older persons
- Stressed the importance of developing palliative care services for persons with physical and intellectual disabilities, including the dementias, emphasizing that persons with disabilities are more likely to experience delayed access to healthcare, have unmet health care needs and poorer health outcomes, leading to unnecessarily high health care costs.
- Requested that the list of services in the Framework be expanded to include palliative care
- Shared concerns that “persons with disabilities may be less likely to receive needed life-saving treatment and that they may be disproportionately affected by the measures taken to control the pandemic” and suggested that persons with disabilities may also be less likely to receive palliative care
- Referenced important reports on palliative care for persons with intellectual disabilities:
- The Human Rights of Older People with Mental Health Conditions and Psychosocial Disability to a Good Death and Dying Well
- Consensus Norms for Palliative Care of people with Intellectual Disabilities in Europe: EAPC White Paper
- The challenges and triumphs of developing a survey on palliative care for people with intellectual disabilities around the world
In conclusion, the statement reaffirmed the support of the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care, as well as those organisations endorsing the statement, to offer their expertise to support the availability of palliative care services. It also called for the reporting on the implementation of palliative care services in the Region in midterm (2026) and final (2030) WHO Europe monitoring reports.