Agnes Zana continues this week’s focus on palliative care in Hungary. Agnes Zana, PhD, is Assistant Lecturer at Semmelweis University, Institute of Behavioural Sciences, Budapest and a board member of the Hungarian Hospice Palliative Association.
Our biennial national conference was held in Zalaegerszeg on 27-29 March 2014 – the biggest professional forum of people working in Hungarian hospice and palliative care services. The motto of this year’s conference was ‘We’re not alone’, symbolising the attention to patients and families, and the support of professional and personal carers. The patron of the conference was Dr Hanna Páva, Deputy Secretary of State at the Ministry of Health. Out of the 163 registered participants, 27 were doctors and the rest professional nurses, psychologists, physiotherapists, social workers and volunteers.
The scientific programme focused strongly on the latest national developments and research. In the session on alleviating physical symptoms, Dr Csaba Simkó, Head Physician of Hospice Department, Miskolc, dealt with questions such as use of medicines against neuropathic pain in clinical therapy. Professor Dr András Telekes gave a plenary lecture on the topical questions of pain management. Dr Csaba Dózsa unveiled the latest results of healthcare cost-effectiveness specifically in hospice-palliative services, which compared favourably with other healthcare services.
The psychosocial session concluded with a workshop: ‘New directions of psychosocial service in Hungary’, which introduced the characteristics and roles of three professions in palliative care: psychologist, psychotherapist and philosopher (with philosophic praxis). This thought-provoking session was especially valuable as it led to an interdisciplinary discussion with doctors, psychologists, professional nurses, physiotherapists and other professionals.
Leena Pelttari and Anna Pissarek, guests from Austria, held a plenary lecture on ‘Palliative care in the Austrian social care system’. They introduced the Austrian model and the steps taken so far in the Hungarian and Austrian collaborative project: Nárcisz – Hospice caretaking model program on the borders.
For the first time we had a separate session on paediatric care with speakers reporting on the establishment of specialist knowledge and standards, as well as the experiences so far of children’s hospice-palliative care in Hungary. In other sessions, healthcare professionals reported on physiotherapy, nutrition and complementary therapies. The growing importance of hospice volunteering was also covered with colleagues from the Hungarian Hospice Palliative Association and the Pécs-Baranyai Hospice Foundation introducing the new Hungarian training model for volunteers.
The conference was also a time to recognise the contribution of those working in Hungarian hospice palliative care services. Judit Schaffer, President of the Association, awarded the Alaine Polcz medals and awards to Dr Katalin Hegedűs, Dr Krisztina Tóth, Elvira Ács, Zsuzsa Borossné Nagyváradi, Mónika Búsné Váradi, Dr Veronika Márvány and myself.
My deepest impression was the really interdisciplinary and supportive work among professionals of separate fields – the conference message ‘We’re not alone’ was felt strongly during the conference underlined by the professionalism and quality of lectures. We have few volunteers in Hungary, but their numbers are slowly growing; their attendance at the congress resulting from our social campaign. And finally, we hope that Austrian-Hungarian co-operation will open new doors for Hospice-Palliative care, social care and educational collaboration in these countries.
Links and resources
- Hungarian Hospice Palliative Association (available in Hungarian and English)
- Click here to view a post from Dr Ágnes Csikós published earlier this week. You can find other posts about palliative care in Hungary on the EAPC blog.
CALL FOR ABSTRACTS
Now’s the time to start thinking about submitting your abstract for the 14th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care: Building Bridges. 8-10 May 2015. Click here to submit your abstract online.