Policy promises to make palliative care accessible to all

Policy promises to make palliative care accessible to all

If the state government approves the Palliative Care Policy, essential narcotic drugs will be available even at primary health centres to treat patients suffering from end-stage diseases.

Framed by Dr K B Lingegowda, director, Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Dr P V Ramamani, senior specialist at Kidwai, and Dr Ramaswami Balasubramaniam from the Swami Vivekanada Youth Movement, Mysuru, the policy emphasises making palliative care available in hospitals across the state. The policy was framed following a meeting attended by the state’s drug controller and other authorities.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Dr Lingegowda explained that the project would be started on a pilot basis in six districts — Bengaluru Urban, Mysuru, Dakshina Kannada, Raichur, Shivamogga and Kalaburagi.

The policy states that special training should be organised in all district and taluk hospitals as well as PHCs. “Training programmes will be organised for staff members. Staff would be trained to ensure that a patient dies with dignity,” he said. The project’s nodal office will be based at Kidwai.

20 inpatients
At Kidwai alone, 20 inpatients are admitted to the palliative care unit at any given point of time. As many as 1,000 new patients need oral morphine since they do not respond to step-two treatment. “In a country like India, 80% patients come with advanced stages of cancer, hence palliative care is of importance,” he added.
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