Palliative Care in Hungary and Romania

12 - 22 Jun 2022
  • Medical & Professional Tours

About the tour

Rituals and traditions surrounding end-of-life, bereavement and grieving vary widely between cultures and it is fascinating to see how these differences affect approaches to palliative and end-of-life care. This tour visits two neighbouring countries - Hungary and Romania - that have contrasting ethnic and cultural backgrounds and history. The tour will appeal to nurses, GP’s, oncologists, palliative care specialists, occupational and physio therapists, social workers, chaplains and all involved with palliative and end-of-life care.

These beautiful countries share spectacular scenery and architecture but vary in other ways. Very broadly, Hungarians are Magyar people, ethnically and linguistically different from their neighbouring Slavs, with a range of mostly Christian belief systems. Romanians are a Romance ethnic group and nation native to Romania, that share a common Romanian culture, ancestry, and speak Romanian, which is descended from Latin. Visiting two different destinations that are ethnically and culturally different provides fascinating insight into their evolving palliative and hospice care, while immersing you in the rich history and culture of these rewarding countries.

There is the opportunity to visit Bulgaria during the rose season on an extension after the tour.

Your tour leader

Picture of JBT tour leader, ​David Oliviere

​David Oliviere

David Oliviere is a consultant in psychosocial palliative care, a social worker, an educationalist and a clinical supervisor. He is former director of Education and Training at St Christopher’s Hospice in London and visiting professor at the School of Education and Health Sciences at Middlesex University.

David trained at Nottingham University in social administration and social work. With a background in psychiatric social work and management in the personal social services, David was involved in founding Pilgrim’s Hospice, Canterbury, before joining the North London Hospice as Director of Social Work.  Subsequently, David worked as Community Care Advisor for ethnic minorities and refugees, London Borough of Enfield, and as Macmillan Principal Lecturer in Palliative Care at Middlesex University, whilst practising at the Macmillan Support Team in Barnet Hospital.

David has contributed to several publications, spoken internationally and has jointly edited a number of books including, “Good Practices in Psychosocial Care”, “Loss, grief and bereavement”, “Patient Participant in Palliative Care”, “Resilience in Palliative Care”, “Death, Dying and Social Differences” and “Narratives and Stories in Palliative Care”.

He currently practises as a couple and bereavement counsellor and professional interests include work with families in palliative care; culture and ethnicity; staff support; bereavement; and strength-based approaches. He is joint lead for a new theatre project in palliative care education, “Stories That Speak”.

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Itinerary at a glance

  • Day 1: Budapest (Sun, 12 June) Arrive in magnificent Budapest and briefing.
  • Day 2: Budapest  (Mon, 13 June)  Visit Magyar Hospice and meet with the President of the Hungarian Hospice Association and learn of their public education programme, home care and hospices. Meet with professional and volunteer staff. Hear a talk on The Landscape of Palliative Care in Central and Eastern Europe, covering the history, background and development of palliative care. Afternoon sightseeing tour including St Stephens castle, the Golden Eagle Pharmacy and the Grand Market. Welcome dinner
  • Day 3: Budapest (Tues, 14 June) Visit the National Institute of Oncology. Visit the ‘Hospital in the Rock’, an historic underground hospital. At leisure with the option to enjoy one of Budapest’s famous thermal baths before an evening cruise along the Danube River.
  • Day 4: Budapest / Pécs (Wed, 15 June) Drive to Pécs in the south of Hungary. Explore the ornate city, known for its cultural and artistic heritage.
  • Day 5: Pécs(Thurs, 16 June)  Visit Pécs Medical School and meet with the palliative care service - Hungary's leading academic and hospital-based team. In the afternoon visit a winery and take part in wine tasting with local cuisine.
  • Day 6: Pécs / Timisoara (Fri, 17 June) Drive to Timisoara in the west of Romania. Explore the city, a centre of the arts and education and a European capital of culture for 2021, and learn of its revolutionary past.
  • Day 7: Timisoara / Brasov (Sat, 18 June) Drive through Transylvania and visit Sibiu. Meet with the rural palliative care team at Făgăraș. Arrive in Brasov and check into your hotel. Dinner in the old town.
  • Day 8: Brasov (Sun, 19 June) Explore the beautiful Saxon villages of southern Transylvania, set amongst beautiful mountain scenery, accompanied by a specialist local guide. Learn of Transylvanian culture - history, folk tales and superstitions and current identities.
  • Day 9: Brasov (Mon, 20 June) Visit Hospice Casa Sperantei (the House of Hope) in the morning and in the afternoon visit the Black Church and Bran Castle.
  • Day 10: Brasov / Bucharest (Tues, 21 June) Drive to Bucharest and visit Bucharest Hope Hospice, the most modern in the country, and meet with a pioneer of Romanian palliative care services. In the afternoon explore Bucharest old city before a farewell dinner in the evening.
  • Day 11: Bucharest (Wed, 22 June) Depart or take extension to Bulgaria and the Valley of the Roses.

Extension to Bulgaria and the Valley of the Roses: 22 – 26 June 2022

  • Day 11: Bucharest / Veliko Tarnovo (Wed, 22 June) Cross the Danube into Bulgaria and continue to Veliko Tarnovo via the 14th century rock-hewn churches of Ivanovo. Check into your hotel.
  • Day 12: Veliko Tarnovo (Thurs, 23 June) Sightseeing in Veliko Tarnovo and the heritage town of Arbanasi. Late afternoon at leisure. Visit Hotnitsa village and walk along its acclaimed eco trail.
  • Day 13: Veliko Tarnovo / Kalofer (Fri, 24 June) Drive to Etara, an excellent ethnographic village, and have lunch.Cross the Shipla Pass and visit the Church of St Nikolai on the way to the village of Kalofer. Dinner at a village house.
  • Day 14: Kalofer (Sat, 25 June) Visit the Thracian tombs of Kazanlak, the oldest in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, notable for their unique mural paintings. Continue to the Valley of the Roses and the village of Tarnichene. Visit the Enoi distillery and learn about the production of rose oil. Traditional Bulgarian farewell dinner.
  • Day 16: Kalofer / Sofia (Sun, 26 June) Drive to Sofia and transfer to the airport.

Tour cost

The cost of the tour is USD $3,306 per person sharing

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