The Hospice and Palliative Care Division was opened on the second floor of the Internal Medicine Building of the Hospital renovated in 2016 for the purpose of providing end-of-life palliative care for those who suffer from malignant tumors in a way unparalleled in the region. In line with the principles of the international and Hungarian Hospice Community, our goal is to alleviate the physical and emotional suffering and pain of patients, satisfy their needs, and ensure their dignity, peace, and tranquility. Palliative care is life-affirmative, regarding death as a normal process, neither hurrying, nor delaying it. The key is to preserve the best quality of life possible up until the point of death.
The scope of care also extends to the patient’s family and close community, providing outstanding support to help them bear the burden of illness and grief. The division also lowers the burden of treating these patients at other divisions having to provide hospital beds for them.
In line with the principles of palliative care, our division has a multidisciplinary team consisting of specialist physicians and nurses, a specialist psychologist, an expert in mental health, a pastor or priest, dietician, physical therapist, social worker, and trained volunteers.
Patient care at our division is provided on 20 hospital beds (5 rooms with beds for four patients), each with its own sanitary unit complete with a community space, a kitchen, a separate room for bathing patients, and a funerary room.
Cancer patients are only admitted to our division when their hospice home care is not feasible any more due to the deterioration of their condition and the worsening of their symptoms. The patient and close family members (or in case of any limitation the guardian of the patient) need to provide informed, written consent for admission. There may be an exception in case of admission when home care is feasible but becomes too long in order to ease the burden of caretakers in the family temporarily.
Admission to the institute occurs after consultation with the head physician or head nurse. The patient may be transferred from another division of Kenézy Hospital after consultation between doctors, or they may be admitted from outside of the institute after an outpatient visit. During regular working hours, the outpatient examination occurs at the outpatient clinic of the division by appointment and with a referral, which may come from the patient’s GP or from the facility where the patient receives oncological care and treatment. The outpatient exam includes collecting data, reviewing the patient’s medical history, and assessing the patient’s pressing needs based on certain scales and assessment documents. After this, the patient is put on a waiting list and admitted based on available beds at the institute. The treatment and hospice care of the patient lasts until the moment of death, but if the terminal condition turns out to last very long, after providing medication and necessary equipment, the patient may be discharged and receive expert home care.
It is important to note that treatment at the institute is supported by the National Health Insurance Fund and is therefore free of charge for the patient.