By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, November 7, 2019: Chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday launched district palliative care programme here through videoconferencing with district collectors and chief district medical and public health officers.

Palliative care is given to improve the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness. The services will be provided at district level health institutions including Capital Hospital and RGH Rourkela. The patients will get both in-patient and out-patient services under this programme.

In-patient services include free specialist consultation, free drugs and consumables, free physiotherapy, counselling spiritual healing, emergency care services, nutrition support, patient follow-up and training to the care giver.

Out-patient services include regular consultation by trained medical staff, training to the caregivers, free drugs and consumables, physiotherapy services, counselling to patient and family, referrals to higher health facilities.

The state has already decided to develop district headquarters hospitals (DHH) with appropriate infrastructure facilities for the palliative care programme. According to major decisions, six-bed palliative care units will be established in each DHH to provide facility based palliative care services in each district. Ten districts have been provided with Rs 10.25 lakh each for infrastructure development.

As many as 39 medical officers and 42 staff nurses already trained in palliative care will provide services at these centres in 30 DHH, RGH Rourkela and Capital Hospital Bhubaneswar.

Induction and refresher training of medical officers and staff nurses and counselors will be taken up regularly to increase proficiency of staff. Trained medical officers and staff nurses are in place for rendering services.

“We have decided to start home-based palliative care in Nabarangpur district within the next two months, which will be scaled up to all districts. This service will also be available for terminally ill patients suffering from chronic kidney diseases, stroke, cardiovascular disease, hemiplegia, paralysis and HIV/AIDS,” said Naveen.

Among others, health minister Naba Kishore Das, advisor to state government on cancer care Dinesh Pendarkar, health secretary Pramod Meherda and government officials were present during the launching programme.

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