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Indian J Cancer. 2015 Jan-Mar;52(1):99-101. doi: 10.4103/0019-509X.175578.

Palliative care in India: Situation assessment and future scope.

Author information

1
Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India.

Abstract

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 prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification, assessment and treatment of pain, and other problems - physical, psychosocial, and spiritual. It is estimated that in India the total number of people who need palliative care is likely to be 5.4 million people a year. Though palliative care services have been in existence for many years, India ranks at the bottom of the Quality of Death index in overall score. However there has been steady progress in the past few years through community-owned palliative care services. One of the key objectives of the National Programme for prevention and control of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and stroke is to establish and develop capacity for palliative and rehabilitative care. Community models for the provision of home-based palliative care is possible by involving community caregivers and volunteers supervised by nurses trained in palliative care. Training of medical officers and health care professionals, and sensitization of the public through awareness campaigns are vital to improve the scope and coverage of palliative care. Process of translating palliative care plan into action requires strong leadership, competent management, political support and integration across all levels of care.

PMID:
26837989
DOI:
10.4103/0019-509X.175578
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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