With only a small fraction of patients being treated, local Indian health organizations decided to team up to help inform the local palliative patients, their families, and health care professionals about the benefits of palliative care.
Celebrating World Hospice and Palliative Care Day
Observing the World Hospice and Palliative Care Day, Senha Sandhya Age Care Foundation (ACF) in association with Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (HBCHRC) organised a music concert and cultural programme with nurses and volunteers to celebrate, support and speak up about the importance of hospice and palliative care this month in India.
Limited Palliative Care available for Indians
Home to 17.71% of the world’s population, India will also experience large amounts of potential end of life suffering. In 2012 it was estimated that one million new cases of cancer occur each year in India, with over 80% presenting at stage 3 and 5.
According to the Indian Journal of palliative care ¨Despite its limited coverage, palliative care has been present in India for just over 20 years. Obstacles in the growth of palliative care in India are too many and not only include factors like population density, poverty, geographical diversity, restrictive policies regarding opioid prescription, workforce development at base level, but also limited national palliative care policy and lack of institutional interest in palliative care.¨
At the event Dr. M.R. Rajagopal, founder chairman of Pallium India, said ̈About 98% of Indians today had no access to pain relief or palliative care. Diseases were treated while suffering was ignored. Inappropriate hi-tech intensive care at the end of the life deprived human beings of any semblance of dignity,” With an overall theme that more training was needed to help give patients the end of life dignity they deserved.