Official title of the project

Development of Palliative Care Services in Serbia


Project information

Region / City
Total budget of programme / project


Implementation period
2011. Mar - 2014. Mar
Expected results

The Project will provide technical assistance for the establishment of a comprehensive and modern system of palliative care in Serbia. The Project will assist the ministry in its effort to make these services accessible to all patients who require them, including adults and children with advanced cancer or non-cancer disease, and will support accessibility for potentially underserved population groups. An over-arching principle guiding the Project’s activity is the belief that pain relief and access to palliative care are basic human rights. As defined by the World Health Organisation, palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.


Institutional beneficiary is the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Serbia


Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, local governments, NGOs, social care sector, legislators, patients’ families, volunteers

Summary of the project

The main project objective is to assist the Serbian Ministry of Health in developing equitable, high quality and sustainable standards and criteria for palliative care to implement legislative requirements and to respond to patients and families’ needs with treatments supported by the best available evidence. The project will provide technical assistance fostering European added value so that basic training and education in the principles and practice of palliative care is ensured.

Programme/Project objectives

The project will provide support and technical assistance to implement the National Strategy and Action Plan on Palliative Care and the National Program Serbia Against Cancer. The core intervention will focus on training in palliative care for a work force with no previous education in this particular area of health care and no clinical experience in modern palliative care. The project will provide expertise, professional backstopping, evidence based experience, protocols and guidelines to support the Ministry of Health and academia to address the identified shortage in volume and skills of qualified and specialised palliative care staff.

Specific objectives

Project specific objectives are:

  • To support the government of Serbia to operationalise the national legislation and Action Plan aimed at providing palliative care to all persons and families in need.
  • To provide technical assistance fostering European added value so that basic training and education in the principles and practice of palliative care is ensured.

Assistance will be divided into two Work Packages, organised according to the National Action Plan:

  • The first one will support the implementation of institutional provisions, and essential education and training.
  • The second Work Package will support development and research as an integral part of the new clinical palliative care services, focusing on the academic reforms needed, organisational and clinical audit.