A walk towards better palliative care

India has about six million patients who are in need of palliative care but only 4 per cent of them have an access to palliative care services

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In order to highlight the growing unmet need for palliative care in India, the Mumbai Palliative Care Network, a group of over 15 medical and non-medical organisations and individuals, came together on October 13, which is also observed as 'World Hospice and Palliative Care Day', and organised a walk from Shanti Avedna Ashram to Carter Road promenade.  

Also Read: KEM Hospital Starts A Clinic For Palliative Care


According to estimates, India has about six million patients who are in need of palliative care but only 4 per cent of them have access to palliative care services. Dr. Mary Ann Muckaden from Tata Memorial Hospital, a pioneer in the field of palliative care in India, and President of the Indian Association of Palliative Care (IAPC) said that the acceptance of palliative care largely pivots on the doctors. Dr. Boman Dhabhar, a leading Medical and Hemato Oncologist from Mumbai, attached to several reputed hospitals expressed that unfortunately, palliative care has become associated with end-of-life care and should really start at the time of diagnosis. 

I got into palliative care and I focus on non-cancer palliative care and I believe it is the need of the hour, because increasingly, we have people living longer and not necessarily well and also in the urban city, many people live on their own. We as doctors get trained to focus on physical symptoms and also completely ignore the care of the burden a family goes through it. Advanced renal diseases, lung cancer, repeated hospitalisation. To treat a patient in a holistic manner and address the needs of the family as well. We are trying to improve the quality of life of the patient as it is more important than quantity. The focus is on quality of life till the end of life and also have a good death as India ranks among 15 worst countries to die on a survey conducted in 2015 Lancet publication," Dr Rajam Iyer, Pulmonologist & palliative care consultant.


What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is a multidisciplinary approach to specialized medical and nursing care for people with life-limiting illnesses. It focuses on providing relief from the symptoms, pain, physical stress, and mental stress at any stage of illness

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