Semmelweis Garanciavédjegy logó
Adománygyűjtő Szervezetek Önszabályozó Testülete logó


Hungarian Hospice Palliative Association

the community of Hungarian hospices

Dr. Katalin Hegedűs

Myth: Hospice is necessary only during the last few days of life.
Fact: Hospice care is necessary during the last 6 to 12 months of a serious, incurable illness when the patient’s condition is worsening despite medical treatment.
Myth: Hospice is a house where dying people are placed.
Fact: Hospice is not a house but a philosophy, a range of services, an organizational system; in other words, an interdisciplinary-care model (consisting of: hospice house, palliative inpatient department, home care, outpatient care, hospital consultation group (mobile team), bereavement group, telephone help lines).
Myth: Only cancer patients are accepted for hospice.
Fact: In Hungary it is primarily cancer patients who are accepted, but not in other countries.
Criterion: life expectancy of less than 6 to 12 months.
  • - relieving pain and suffering, improving quality of life;
  • - humane treatment;
  • - shaping attitudes.
Myth: There is no difference between hospice and a terminal ward. There is nothing to do but hold the dying person’s hand.
Fact: Hospice involves specialized care, which is different from chronic, nursing and social care. Special training is required to serve as, for example, a palliative care specialist or a hospice-care nurse.
Myth: Hospice and elderly care are the same thing.
Fact: Terminally ill individuals of all ages may need hospice care.
Myth: Unfortunately it doesn’t yet really exist in Hungary. But if it does, it costs a lot of money. It exists only through foundations.
Fact: Hospice services have been financed by the National Health Care Insurance Fund (OEP) since 2004. Currently 95 providers are available. Every type of hospice is free for the patient.
Myth: Nothing can be done about the taboo surrounding death.
Fact: Through changing of attitudes, public service campaigns and education much can be done to relieve the taboo surrounding death.

see more: Hegedűs K (2011): Myths and facts about hospice. Lege Artis Medicinae, 21 (11): 744-748.

Myths and facts about hospice leaflet


Download printable format:

HHPA - Myths and facts about hospice (pdf)