Health Minister V S Sivakumar on Wednesday announced that Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences (TIPS), the flagship of Pallium India, will be given land to set up an in-patient treatment facility in the city. He was delivering the presidential address at the official function that recognised TIPS as a ‘WHO Collaborating Centre.’
‘’This decision comes after considering the importance of the exemplary work that they have undertaken. They will be allowed to set up an in-patient facility attached to a government hospital,’’ said Sivakumar.
The in-patient facility has been a long-standing demand of the TIPS, now attached to SUT Hospital on a temporary basis. They had requested for an in-patient facility attached to a hospital as presence of doctors with expertise in various departments was a need for the patients approaching TIPS for palliative care.
The Health Minister also said that the State Government intends to extend palliative care right from the panchayat-level. ‘’As part of this extensive programme, we will start right at the bottom, when the health workers would visit each home and provide help on a long-term basis. The Government is chalking out the programme,’’ said Sivakumar.
Defence Minister A K Antony said that palliative care has great significance in the current social context when most families are nuclear. ‘’Service-oriented organisations such as Pallium India should come up on a large scale. I would say that all hospitals, including private hospitals and private medical colleges, should definitely have palliative care units,’’ said Antony, whose wife Elizabeth Antony was a volunteer of the Pallium India a little while ago.
Antony also said that palliative care can never be a profession, and that it was more of a humanitarian activity. He called upon doctors to show a little kindness and love while caring for a patient.
A Sampath MP, in a rare gesture, offered to become a palliative care worker. ‘’As a Parliamentarian, I am often on the streets. When I am not on the streets, I am in the House. But I promise to work with Pallium India in my constituency for one day in a month,’’ he said. Mayor J Chandrika and TRIDA chairman P K Venugopal also spoke on the occasion.