The State Government has planned to establish pain and palliative care centres at district headquarters hospitals (DHHs) under the National Programme for Palliative Care, that is set to go underway in the State this year.
The centres would be set up in five NCD districts of Malkangiri, Koraput, Nuapada, Balangir and Nabarangpur in the first phase and subsequently extended to other five districts of Khurda, Cuttack, Ganjam, Rayagada and Sambalpur that are proposed to be included in the programme this year.
It has been proposed that each district hospital would set aside four dedicated beds for the palliative care centre. Doctors, nurses and paramedics would be trained by the Indian Association of Palliative Care in providing pain and palliative care interventions to the suffering public at their doorsteps.
Pain and palliative care has become a major aspect of healthcare delivery system thanks to ever increasing burden of cancer and a host of other terminal illnesses. The concept is yet to pick up in the State as there is only one Government-run centre at the Acharya Harihar Regional Cancer Centre (Cuttack) and caters to only cancer patients.
Those with other end-stage illnesses from cardiac and renal failure, motor-neuron diseases to geriatric ailments are being referred to medical colleges which do not have any palliative care facility. The pain coverage of patients in the State is around 1,000 a day against a requirement of one lakh.
The objective is to provide a complete pain relief treatment and palliative interventions from counselling and psychosocial support to the patients and their families extending to end of life care and bereavement support.
The centres would provide hospice care and undertake home visits apart from the in-patient interventions for pain relief to symptoms management. They would be authorised to dispense oral and injectable morphine.
The plans have been drawn as the Union Government has announced integration of the entire gamut of NCD programmes within the National Health Mission. The programmes would be undertaken under a newly constituted Flexi Pool mechanism which entails a cost sharing of 75:25 by the Centre and State. Allocation of funds will be made on the basis of the project implementation plan (PIP) submitted by the state. A comprehensive PIP detailing requirement for all the 10 NCD programmes will be drawn up soon. With funds expected to be released later this year, work can start by the end of this year, a senior officer said.
Better health care
■ Khurda, Cuttack, Ganjam, Raygada and Sambalpur districts are proposed to be included in second phase
■ The objective is to provide a complete pain relief treatment.
■ Allocation of funds will be made on the basis of the project implementation plan