2 J&K hospitals selected for Palliative Care research project

GMC Srinagar, Gandhi Nagar Hospital to provide cost effective care for chronic patients
Representational Image
Representational Image File/ GK

Srinagar, May 28: Two hospitals in J&K have been selected by AIIMS New Delhi for a research project that will help in extending Palliative Care to patients with chronic debilitating conditions.

Thousands of patients in J&K are in the advanced stages of cancer and other diseases, with no treatment protocols available for their condition. These patients usually suffer from chronic pain and require Palliative Care, which till date has been unavailable in most of the states and UTs, including J&K. Now, AIIMS New Delhi has started a project to establish and develop Palliative Care services at the grassroot level in Northern India.

For this purpose, 10 hospitals in north India have been identified for developing into the Centre of Excellence (Nodal Centres) through up-gradation of infrastructure and training of manpower for practicing Palliative medicine.

As per a communication issued by AIIMS New Delhi, GMC Srinagar and Gandhi Nagar Hospital Jammu are among the 10 hospitals that have been chosen for the project based on the fact that these hospitals have already started Palliative Care services through a national level Cancer Treatment Centre programme. For initial two months, as per this communication, the centres will be guided by AIIMS New Delhi to provide Palliative Care.

After two months, the assessment will take place and these Nodal Centres will help develop Palliative Care services in 10 district hospitals. This will empower 100 hospitals in north India to deliver optimum care to terminally ill patients.

AIIMS has underlined the gross shortage of such facilities and the devastating burden of diseases that the families bear. “Socio-economic burden faced by the patients and their families and the larger community is further compounded by the inadequate insurance coverage such that the out-of-pocket expenditure on healthcare exceeds 60 percent of the total earnings,” it points out.

It has said that the lack of curative options should not mean an end of hope. “Palliative Care includes provision of good pain and symptom management.” It also translates into humane and cost effective improvement in the quality of life for the patients and their families.

Director General Health and Family Welfare and Director Health Services Jammu Dr Saleem ur Rehman expressed gratitude at the selection of Gandhi Nagar Hospital Jammu for the project. He said that the availability of Palliative and Geriatric Care at two hospitals in two divisions of J&K would help in alleviating the suffering of terminally ill patients.

“We have been receiving a number of patients at Gandhi Nagar Jammu from even Tata Memorial Hospital Mumbai for Palliative Care. This is a new but important sector in healthcare delivery and we hope to develop it well,” he said.

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