Grantee details

Traveling Scholarships Program Report

Patti Dzotsenidze, MD

Travel date: May 18, 2017

Name of Meeting/Event/Activity: 15th European Association Palliative Care Conference

Origin: Tbilisi, Georgia / Destination: Madrid, Spain


How was this meeting/activity helpful to you?

The meeting covered so many respects of palliative care that it is impossible to cover briefly. But I will try to:  1) New approaches for best care; 2) Practical aspects to deal with problems; 3) Different dimensions in research and available connections; 4) Educational possibilities, which can be developed in the country; and 5) And especially new for me was approaches for care by the mean of advanced care planning, which isn’t developed at all in Georgia.

How will you new knowledge & acquired skills help in furthering your work in hospice and palliative care in your program/city/ or country?

I think that by attending the 15th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care   gave me a valuable experience regarding the knowledge of all scientific work done in the field of Pain management and Palliative Care, attained skills will give me possibility to move forward and accomplish my study concerning opioid availability and accessibility in Georgia, through learning education level of the physicians, and awareness of the physicians and patients. The gained experience will enable me to direct my work more precisely, to assess the survey results in well structured frame and analyze them correctly, so that the recommendations based on the search results are valid. As an outcome I hope to publish results in international peer reviewed journals; and what is the most importantly it will allow me to make an influence, based on results of the survey, with relevant recommendations and through publications on national health authorities, currently reluctant to any palliative care or pain management issues; so finally to improve patients services through redressing legislation and educational issues.

How IAHPC Traveling Scholarship be improved in order to help other future traveling scholars?

I think that information spreading and communication was excellent. The IAHPC team was very supportive and at every stage of our communication. I want to express my gratitude to all team.

Narrative summary highlighting the needs and challanges you face

Though there were attempts from the government to develop palliative care after 2000 year and improve opioid availability and accessibility in 2007 - 2012, not enough efforts have been made to refine the legislation adequately. More precisely, the newly endorsed decrees were not fully integrated into already functioning regulation and the old decree was not adjusted and amended to be in conformity. As a result contradictory regulations have been put in place. The administrations of the primary health care facilities prefer to follow the old regulation, feeling safer and comfortable, due to the lack of priority of the pain management issue on the whole including public health policy, fear for possible penalties, lack of knowledge, misconceptions regarding opioids and the doubts that patients can become dependent on, misuse or diverse opioids.  Besides, in 2013 the government of Georgia with its annual resolution on the National Health State program made amendment to the “Palliative Care for Incurable Patients” program, which also covers the opioid medication need for ambulatory patients; the change defined those eligible for palliative care services as patients in need at the "end of life. Thus making impossible to provide palliative care services for outpatients as needed.  So things that I have learnt during the EAPC congress -  new approaches for best care, practical aspects to deal with problems -  and skills  acquired in  different dimensions in research, will help me to accomplish my study regarding  of  opioid availability and accessibility, through studding  education level of the physicians, and awareness of the physicians and patients and administrative barriers. As an outcome I hope to publish results in international peer reviewed journals; which will allow me to make an influence, based on results of the survey, with relevant recommendations on national health authorities, currently reluctant to any palliative care or pain management issues; with final aim to improve patients’ services through redressing legislation and educational issues. Attending the conference, gave me ability to bring back new information and trends in PC in my country and spread it through the field specialists.


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