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Too Much or Not Enough Pain Relief?

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Heard the tail-end of a report on the radio today, which said access to morphine for end of life pain relief  is tightening world-wide. This, at a time when we also hear governments  are concerned access to addictive drugs such as morphine is too easy. We need to get the balance right.

A World Health Organisation report of August 2017 says:

  • Each year, an estimated 40 million people are in need of palliative care, 78% of them people live in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Worldwide, only about 14% of people who need palliative care currently receive it.
  • Overly restrictive regulations for morphine and other essential controlled palliative medicines deny access to adequate pain relief and palliative care.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare provides an overview of palliative care services in Australia. This includes the national policies for palliative care, the response to COVID-19 and the latest data.

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