On September 19th, following in the footsteps of Peru, Colombia and the Latin American Parliament’s (Parlatino) Health Framework Bill, the Health Committee of Paraguay’s Chamber of Deputies resumed the debate on the bill to guarantee palliative care for terminal patients introduced by Jorge Baruja (Partido Colorado-ruling party). During the meeting, the Peruvian legislator Luis López Vilela (Fuerza Popular-opposition), a specialist in the matter and main promoter of the recently promulgated law that creates the National Plan of Palliative Care in Peru, was present to support the Paraguayan initiative. The committee is expected to pass the bill in October.
The bill promoted by Baruja (Partido Colorado-ruling party) and Esmerita Sánchez (Partido Liberal Radical Auténtico-opposition), seeks to ensure that all terminal patients have access to medical care that alleviates their suffering in the terminal stages of their illnesses. It reaches patients hospitalized in public and private institutions. Although the project dates back to 2013, it has the support of the Executive Branch and opposition sectors, such as PLRA, which could promote its passing in 2019.
Paraguay also organized its First International Congress on Palliative Care, from September 20th-22nd, with specialists in the field from multiple countries in the region. In this context, they agreed to deepen the tasks of education of the population in this issue. Health specialists from the United States, Guatemala, Uruguay, Brazil, Colombia and Peru participated in the event. Officials from the National Cancer Institute (INCAN) of Paraguay also attended. They agreed that it is essential to deepen the tasks of education and awareness of the populations regarding these care. They also urged governments to deepen regulations in this area.