Dr. Gayatri Palat is Associate Professor, Pain and Palliative Medicine, at the MNJ Institute of Oncology and Regional Cancer Center in Hyderabad, India. She was instrumental in establishing the Department of Palliative Care within the Institute by developing clinical services, including outpatient, inpatient and home-based care and training programs.
Dr. Palat trained originally as an anesthetist and is a Diplomate of the National Board in Anesthesiology of India. She also has a Diploma in International Palliative Care Leadership from the Institute for Palliative Medicine, San Diego Hospice, in the United States.
At national level, she has played a key role in the amendment of opioid regulations in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India, working with the government and other stakeholders. She is a founder member and currently the Executive Secretary of the not-for-profit organization, Pain Relief and Palliative Care Society in Hyderabad, which provides home-based palliative care called ‘Life at your doorstep’, offering rural outreach, advocacy and training in palliative care.
Dr. Palat has also contributed to the development of the curriculum for the Indian Association for Palliative Care (IAPC) course on palliative care, and has been involved in opioid availability activities though the IAPC and the Pain and Palliative Care Society, Calicut (a WHO Demonstration Project). She facilitated the development of the Department of Palliative Medicine and the Diploma in Palliative Medicine, the first of its kind in the country, at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi. With a special interest in pediatric palliative care, Dr. Palat has played an important role in developing a unique pediatric palliative care fellowship program at MNJ Institute of Oncology and currently leads the Special Interest Group – Pediatric Palliative Care of the Indian Association of Palliative Care.
Internationally, through her involvement with the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), Dr. Palat has participated in the initial planning of palliative care in the National Cancer Control Program for Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the Philippines. She is a director of the palliative care initiative in SE Asia of Two World Cancer Collaboration, the Canadian branch of International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research (INCTR), which works with healthcare professionals in resource-challenged countries to reduce the burden of cancer in South East Asian and African countries. She has also participated in the development of the EPEC-India curriculum to facilitate the implementation of palliative care in various institutions throughout the country.
Dr. Palat joined the IAHPC Board of Directors in 2010 and is currently serving a second term. She is particularly interested in advocacy activities related to improving access to opioid medications, and standardization of training programs in developing countries.