What is palliative care?
Palliative care is a concept of active and comprehensive care of patients suffering severe and advanced illnesses. The concept includes symptom control as well as psychological, social and spiritual support to these patients and their families. Palliative care allows for the best possible quality of life in final phases of a patient’s illness. The palliative care teams consist of professionals including: doctors, nurses, social workers, psychologists, pastors as well as trained volunteers.
What is a hospice?
A Hospice is a facility specialised in palliative care services that is providing the best possible care in accordance to the palliative care concept. ‘Hospice’ does not necessarily mean an institution in which patients are treated. It is rather a specific concept of care provided to these patients regardless of them being at home, in hospital, nursing homes or an in-patient hospice itself. Hospices are not long term institutions. Patients are treated in hospices for 10 – 14 days. Patients are not coming in hospices to die, but for relieving some of the symptoms like pain, sickness, breathlessness, etc. Hospices provide a psychosocial and spiritual support to the patient who find themselves in a hard situation, as well as give the families an opportunity to take a breath. Considering the nature of the illnesses patients have under the care of the hospice, it is often the case that they will die in the hospice.
BELhospice fees?
All services provided by BELhospice are free-of-charge! That is in accordance with basic principles of hospice/palliative care.
How can BELhospice help you?
We, at BELhospice, have two medical teams available (doctor and nurse) who pay visits to patients in the hospitals. Medical teams also visit patients at their homes and those in long term homes. The doctor’s job is mainly to examine patients, advise on further therapy, discuss the disease with the patient and the patient’s family members as well as to meet with the patient’s resident doctor or the one who is treating them at home and discuss all the issues involved in prescribed therapy and adequately designed palliative care. The nurse’s job encompasses all activities relevant to the position.
How can patients ask for help?
If patients are treated in the Clinical Centre of Serbia (KC Serbia) or the Medical Centre “Bezanijska kosa” (KBC Bezanijska kosa), then these patients may be referred to us by the doctors in charge of their treatment. Of course, other patients, who live within Belgrade and are in need of palliative care, may contact us directly at +381 11 33 43 311 or our email address: office@belhospice.org
Patients outside Belgrade?
For the time being, regretfully, BELhospice operate within Belgrade’s territory only.
Can patients with neurological symptoms also be helped be BELhospice?
At the moment, BELhospice can only care for cancer patients.
Can the BELhospice team prescribe required therapy?
BELhospice’s medical team may only make a suggestion about certain therapy and then the patient should approach their resident doctor to prescribe it.
Can BELhospice give financial assistance?
Donations made to BELhospice are used to provide free-of-charge services to patients. However, as BELhospice is still in its initial phase of development, we cannot offer financial assistance to patients and their families.
Does BELhospice have a hospice facility or hospital beds for such patients?
Plans to provide this service are under way.
Do patients have to come to BELhospice’s premises, or do BELhospice’s medical teams visit the patients at their location?
BELhospice’s medical team, with permission of the patient and their resident doctor, may visit the patient at their location within Belgrade’s territory wherever necessary. There are also certain cases when patients may come to BELhospice’s premises but an appointment must be made earlier and such consultations may be arranged at the following telephone number: +381 11 33 43 311, between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on workdays.
Is palliative medicine considered to be part of alternative medicine?
No. Palliative medicine is an evidence-based field of medicine and is in no way part of alternative medicine.