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Over 1 Lakh Patients in Kerala to Receive Palliative Care

At least 1.50 lakh patients in Kerala who suffer from various ailments will have a better quality of life through palliative care, the government said on Wednesday. The care would be provided through a joint initiative between the private sector and state government, the Kerala Assembly was told. Palliative care is given to improve the quality of life of patients who have a serious or life-threatening disease. Health Minister KK Shailaja said even as Kerala boasts of having the best of healthcare, when it comes to palliative care to those suffering from serious ailments like cancer and other life-threatening diseases, there has to be an improved effort to give them an improved quality of life.

“At present, there are around 1.50 lakh patients suffering from cancer, several other ailments, old age problems and are mostly bed-ridden. It’s here, where we wish to provide an improved palliative care,” the Minister said. “For this, there will be a better co-ordination between the various organizations which are involved in this activity and the state government programs,” said Shailaja. She added that of 1.50 lakh such patients, around 49,000 currently getting benefits of palliative care through various private organizations and the ones in the state government sector.

“We have already included palliative care in the state owned 232 community health centers. We have decided to appoint a physiotherapist and a nurse in addition to the existing staff so as to benefit those who need palliative care,” she said. “There are 15 training centers which have the approval of the WHO which gives training to volunteers who are interested in providing service to the suffering,” added the minister. She added that it has also been decided that the Ayurveda sector will also be asked to join the new initiative, as Ayurveda too provides elements to improve the quality of life of those who need palliative care. – Business Standard

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