Background Following the adoption of a national palliative care strategy by the government of the Republic of Serbia in 2009 it was decided to develop a comprehensive model of palliative care service delivery which is appropriate to the circumstances and resource constraints of Serbia.
Aims To develop a comprehensive model for palliative care service delivery that is appropriate and affordable for Serbia, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and key stakeholders.
Methods A model of care was developed in four phases: (1) Review of existing legislation and the context and provision of health services in Serbia (2) The development of service delivery standards, and instruments for palliative care implementation. (3) A participative field study in three sites to gather information and conduct discussions with stakeholders, Issues covered included the availability and use of existing resources; provision of health services at the different levels, and key deficits in service provision. (4) Drafting of model of palliative care service delivery. (5) Consultation with key stakeholders.
Results A draft model of palliative care service delivery has been proposed using available Serbian practice & experience complemented with good practice from neighbouring countries & international PC. The proposed model includes the following resources: a policy, model implementation guide, resource plan, quality indicators, standards of care, instruments for implementation, and best practice guidelines. The consultation process is ongoing and due to be finalized by the end of the year.
Conclusion The development of a model of service delivery which sets out guidance for the provision of care at each level of the healthcare system is a vital component in operationalising palliative care. Whilst initial draft documents may be finalised, it is important to recognised that any model of palliative care service delivery needs to be fluid and respond to the ongoing needs within the country.
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