New catalogue of conditions that may require pediatric palliative care

T Dangel, U Wojciechowska, “New catalogue of conditions that may require pediatric palliative care”, Przegląd Epidemiologiczny 2020; 74(3):503-520

BACKGROUND. Pediatric palliative care applies to the conditions specified in the Regulation of the Minister of Health. The previous studies have proved that the conditions’ catalogue is incomplete and inadequate.

AIM OF STUDY. The aim of the study was to verify completeness and adequacy of the Minister of Health’s catalogue and to develop a new catalogue based on available epidemiological data concerning the Polish population.

MATERIALS AND METHODS. The data of the Statistics Poland on underlying causes of death of children (0-17 years old) and young adults (18-29 years old) who died in 1999-2018 were analyzed. Besides, the study includes data collected by the Warsaw Hospice for Children Foundation on diagnoses of 739 patients treated in 1994-2019, including 519 deceased. The catalogue developed on that basis was compared with the Minister of Health’s catalogue.

RESULTS. The new catalogue of conditions that may require pediatric palliative care in Poland and the additional criteria of patient recruitment were developed. The incompleteness and inadequacy of the Minister of Health’s catalogue were demonstrated. CONCLUSIONS. The Regulation of the Minister of Health necessitates an amendment regarding the list of medical conditions entitling children to guaranteed palliative care and hospice services. The Minister of Health should introduce standards and medical procedures for pediatric palliative care. Patients should be recruited on the basis of recognized standards by physicians and not officials of the National Health Fund using incomplete and inadequate Minister of Health’s catalogue of medical conditions.