Goa to Draft ‘Must-Have’ Palliative Care Policy This Year | Goa News

Goa to Draft ‘Must-Have’ Palliative Care Policy This Year | Goa News

PANAJI: The government of Goa has decided to develop a palliative care policy this year in view of the increased burden on the health system in the state due to the increase in non-communicable diseases.
“Health Services has partnered with two voluntary organizations to provide palliative care, but more help is needed. Once the policy is ready, we will know how to proceed,” a health official said.
A study, by GMC Head of Department of Community Medicine and Professor Dr. Jagadish Cacodkar and Assistant Lecturer Dr. Mahika Naik in 2019-2021, said there were only two facilities – Shanti Avedena by the Missionaries of Charity in Loutolim and Dilasa by the Indian Medical Association (HAVE) Goa, Ponda – statewide, which provided a palliative care facility.
Subsequently, to make palliative care available at the primary level, and in line with the national palliative care programme, the health services partnered with the Cipla Foundation and a unit was opened at the South Goa District Hospital, said the health official.
It has also partnered with Novi Survat, a voluntary organization to provide pediatric palliative care in outlying health centers.
Palliative care should begin soon after diagnosis: WHO
The Dean of the G MC, Dr. SM Bandekar, said a palliative care facility is much needed in the state. To facilitate better palliative care, the state will need to train doctors, nurses, and other paramedics. “Just having a palliative care unit or building won’t be enough,” he said. As the government declared in the recent budget its intention to establish two nursing schools in each district, Bandekar suggested, a subject on palliative care should be taught. The health official admitted that their palliative care services are still basic.
The study endorses the view that Goa needs to do much more to improve its palliative care services. The research team surveyed 100 private and public sector healthcare professionals and hospitals. She revealed that two-thirds of doctors surveyed had never received formal training in palliative care. The misconception about palliative care that it should be initiated at the end of life was revealed in the study. The WHO suggests that this care should be started immediately after diagnosis.
The majority of doctors were also unaware of the analgesic ladder recommended by the WHO to relieve a patient’s pain and suffering. The majority of physicians – over 90% – were aware of the issues and challenges faced by patients with end-of-life conditions and their caregivers. But most institutes and health professionals did not have a dedicated team to offer palliative care. Overall, there was a lack of skilled manpower, facilities and resources to provide palliative care. However, most doctors were willing to take palliative care training, according to the study.

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