Working with the WHO to improve palliative care in Europe

Dr Julie Ling, CEO of the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC), looks forward to strengthening links with the World Health Organization (WHO) in her new consultancy role with the WHO.

Dr Julie Ling.

Working as the CEO of the EAPC has given me the amazing opportunity to see how palliative care is provided across our region. No country is the same and although there are similarities, the provision of palliative care in countries throughout Europe is unique and dependent on the health service, the culture and many other variables.

I was truly delighted to hear that the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe (WHO EURO), based in Copenhagen, Denmark had recently initiated a new programme to strengthen palliative care in Europe. This is a first! The first time that the WHO regional office has had a specific focus on palliative care. Palliative care is situated in a new division on Country Health Policy and Systems under a new unit on Health Workforce and Service Delivery. One of the functions of the new unit is to provide technical support and guidance to WHO member states on palliative care.

Originally a palliative care nurse, with many years’ experience of working in a range of roles in palliative care, I am honoured to be appointed to work on a consultancy basis with this new department as a Consultant on Palliative Care. It is an amazing opportunity to work with WHO colleagues (both in Copenhagen and Geneva), the palliative care community, and officials from WHO member countries to assist in the development of palliative care. The role involves providing technical assistance to countries to strengthen palliative care services across all disease and age groups. This new role also supports activities that seek to expand the integration of palliative care services into the national health planning, including in those targeting other health areas such as ageing, noncommunicable diseases, child health, medicines, emergencies, and primary health care.

I am happy to reassure you all, that my new role is in addition to my very important work with the EAPC. Indeed, strengthening the links between the EAPC and WHO is an EAPC strategic goal. There is a synergy between these two separate but complementary roles that will ultimately be a strength for both the EAPC and WHO Europe. Looks like I am going to be very busy…


EXPLORE NEW DIMENSIONS at #EAPC2021. The EAPC 17th World Congress Online offers interactive online sessions from 6 to 8 October 2021, including an entire day dedicated to Paediatric Palliative Care. And you will be able to enjoy lots of on-demand content before and after the congress dates. Get some sneak peeks of congress events on the EAPC blog.

  • Register for the congress here. (Up to 25% discount for EAPC members).
  • Enter the International Photo Competition here.  
  • Enter the Science Slam here.













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