Background and Context:
The growing statistics of cancer incidence cancer incidence (about 30,000 new cases annually, 3-5% annual surplus), and the heavy percentage of advanced stages (about 46%) imply the necessity of developing a comprehensive system of palliative care for incurable cancer patients.
To improve the quality of life of incurable cancer patients by introduction of various forms of palliative care
Palliative care development strategy is reflected in the State Health Development Program for 2011-2015 "Salamatty Kazakhstan", as well as recently approved National Palliative Care Standard, and Diagnostics and Treatment Protocol.
As of today, palliative care in Kazakhstan is characterized by the lack of medical personnel (there are no educational programs for training palliative care specialists), deficit of specialized beds (about 300 hospice beds for a 17 million population); limited access to opioids (only injection forms and limited number of trans-dermal forms of painkillers are available); poor knowledge about palliative care and its advantages within the medical community.
Therefore, consolidation of efforts of the government bodies, healthcare organizations, social services, civil society and business is necessary in order to implement the government strategy on palliative care development. In view of this, a Kazakh Palliative Care Association was founded in 2013 aimed at uniting government and non-govermnent organizations involved in palliative care.
Outcomes/What was learned:
Palliative care in Kazakhstan is only evolving, and only the united actions of all stakeholders will bring visible results that will benefit incurable cancer patients and their families.