IAHPC Traveling Fellow’s Report - Siberia
Nurse Consultant (Palliative Care) UK
Grateful thanks to the IAHPC for the traveling fellowship that enabled me to attend the first International Conference on Palliative Care in Oncology in Kemerovo City in the Kuzbass region of Siberia, FSU. The occasion was also a celebration of 15 years of palliative care in the region and an opportunity, by order of Governor Aman Tuleyev, to present awards to those recognised for their services to palliative care during this time.
The team from the Regional Hospice in Kemerovo was thrilled to be presented with an award by IAHPC for their development of palliative care services.
As well as international speakers, the conference attracted researchers and consultants from all over Russia. Prof. G. Novikov, from Moscow, addressed the conference and offered support for the future development of the specialty in the region. He presented some of his extensive research in the field.
Many interesting topics were covered in the conference including “How to manage change in the health system to accommodate the specialty of Palliative Care”, “Breaking Bad News”, and the “Phenomenon of Hope.” The use of cognitive behavioural therapy for those facing a life threatening illness was described by a psychologist from Novokuznetsk. His lecture was stimulating and his data looked promising.
There was also much interest in the presentation by guest speaker, Dr. Olga Usenko, from the USA. She described how to manage the business aspects of palliative care and how it is currently done in America.
The clergy also presented papers to the conference. There was a greeting from Aristarch, the Bishop of Kemerovo and Novokutznetz Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Some Russian speakers described how palliative care still needs to be developed in their regions where a lack of resources is an on going problem.
The conference was made possible by the organisational skills of the Regional Hospice Director, Dr Olga Berezikova. She was supported by many organisations including local government and associations and the pharmaceutical company “Mundipharma”.
The conferences also attracted good media coverage which was a bonus as many people are still unaware of the philosophy of palliative care and therefore cannot, or do not, access it.
The lecture theatre was a state of the art facility which reflects an amazing transformation since I last visited in 1990 when there was only an overhead projector.
Within the conference curriculum, there was a visit to a regional hospice. It was thrilling to see the changes that have occurred as the hospice developed into a regional centre for education.
There was also an opportunity to visit the government Dept. of Health where a small group of delegates was able to spend time with Dr. A. Novikov and discuss plans for the future of palliative care development. He gave us his assurance of support.
Again, I extend a personal thanks to the IAHPC for their help and support that made this visit possible.