Reflections of an IAHPC Board Member

2012; Volume 13, No 12, December

Reflections of an IAHPC Board Member

Official Recognition of Palliative Care by the Government of Andhra Pradesh, India

by Gayatri Palat, MD (India)

The Government of Andhra Pradesh, the fourth largest state in India with a population of 84,665,533, recognizes the need for palliative care for people living with incurable illnesses.

In a recently released Order (# 265), the Government acknowledges the initiatives taken by MNJ Institute of Oncology and the Regional Cancer Center in collaboration with the International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research and Pallium India to develop palliative care in the state. They also accepted the proposal to develop a full-fledged program with the help of sanctioned official posts associated with a financial commitment for 5 nurses, office support staff and a faculty position for the Department of Palliative Care in MNJ Institute of Oncology.

The government and the management at MNJ Institute of Oncology have always been supportive of palliative care since its inception in the year 2006 by providing the necessary staff support, infrastructure and essential drugs such as oral morphine. Since 2008, palliative care for cancer patients is included in the state sponsored insurance program for people who are poor which is another pioneering initiative by the government. Under this scheme, patients with cancer can receive palliative care free of charge until their death. The state is also the 14th state in India, which has amended the regulations related to opioid availability for medical use.

Dr Gayatri Palat
Program Director, Palliative Access (PAX) Programme, India
International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research (INCTR)
Consultant, Palliative Care, MNJ Institute of Oncology and RCC, Hyderabad, India,

Dr. Palat is Member of the Board of IAHPC Directors; here biography is found here.

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