Background In Turkey, palliative care was delayed because of the cultural causes and lack of information of health workers. For years, terminal patients were sent to their home on the grounds that there is nothing to do in medicine. However, the increasing of ageing population, chronic diseases, and changes in family structure (74% nuclear family) has increased the importance of palliative care.
Aim This study aims to determine what state of the palliative care services in past and present in Turkey.
Methods In this review, structure of palliative care services and regulations of the Ministry of Health were examined in detail by official web sites, and face-to-face interviews with institutions.
Results In Turkey, there is no hospice or nursing home similar to developed countries. In Turkey, “Cancer Care Home” established by Turkish Oncology Foundation between the years 1993–1997. According to MoH (2010), there are 9 palliative care and 72 pain centres. In 2015, the number of palliative care centre are increased to 32.
Discussion 98 thousand men and 63 thousand women develops cancer in Turkey per year (2009). Survival rate for lung cancer has an average of 16.9 months. Per capita use of opioids for cancer pain is behind most countries.
Conclusion Palliative care centres are very few. 38.9% of the pain centres are in big cities. Need to palliative care services related to cancer cases are rapidly increasing.
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