In the developed world, voluntary work is an established form of work in hospitals that translates into a better quality of life in patients, prevents burnouts of the hospital staff, and contributes a better understanding of the problems that hospitals are facing. Besides the high level of professional treatment provided by modern medicine and the professional IO staff, patients – those who wish and require so – also receive informal emotional and social assistance provided by volunteers. The main purpose of the voluntary assistance provided is to inform and socialise with patients and, if required, to accompany them to examinations and treatments at IO. IO introduced volunteering in 2006.
There are many self-help groups and association, which have been organised at IO for many years now. They play an important role in providing emotional and social assistance to patients; they complement the services provided by the health system and inform the wider public about cancer.