BENGALURU: Robert Twycross, considered the father of palliative care, will launch the Karnataka Palliative Care policy on Tuesday at Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology. In the first phase, the policy will be implemented in Bengaluru, Mysuru, Mangaluru, Shivamogga, Raichur and Karwar (Dakshina Kannada), where nurses and doctors in government hospitals will be trained.
Palliative care is for the terminally ill and their families. Karnataka will be the third state in the country after Maharashtra and Kerala to adopt this policy.
Robert Twycross (75) is a retired British physician and writer. He was a pioneer of the hospice movement during the 1970s, when he helped palliative care gain recognition as an accepted field of modern medicine.
The US has a specialised course in palliative care. In India, palliative medicine courses are offered only at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, and Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai. Kidwai plans to introduce it from next academic year. There are three doctors at Kidwai and 20 beds in the palliative medicine department.
“There are 20 personnel in the city at Karunashraya, Kidwai and St John’s Hospital who can train people in palliative care. HCG, Narayana Hrudayalaya and Vydehi Hospital have palliative care professionals, but they aren’t fully active. Our main concern is availability of non-essential narcotic drugs. It should be available in all taluk and district headquarters,” Kidwai director Dr K B Lingegowda said.