Odisha's Bagchi Karunashraya Palliative Care Centre starts home-care for terminally-ill patients
The centre is now functioning from the 10,000 sq feet building space at the ground floor of Odisha JEE Office building and providing home-care services to around 60 patients from Bhubaneswar.
BHUBANESWAR: Terminally ill patients with advanced-stage cancer can now get holistic palliative care at their homes free of cost in Odisha.
A year before the Bagchi Karunashraya Palliative Care Centre (BKPCC) starts functioning from a sprawling 20-acre complex under construction at Info Valley-II, a city space-cum-home-care service was launched at Gandamunda here on Tuesday.
The city centre will provide specialised medical care so that patients availing it can get relief from pain and other symptoms of end-stage disease.
BKPCC is a collaborative effort of Bangalore Hospice Trust (BHT) Karunashraya and Mindtree co-founder and chairman of Odisha Skill Development Authority Subroto Bagchi for which the Bagchi family has pledged Rs 130 crore.
The centre is now functioning from the 10,000 sq feet space on the ground floor of the Odisha JEE Office building and providing home-care services to around 60 patients from Bhubaneswar.
BHT Managing Trustee Gurmeet Singh Randhawa said the centre has been getting several referrals from various cancer hospitals, including Acharya Harihar Post Graduate Institute of Cancer (AHPGIC), AIIMS and Capital Hospital since its soft launch on October 18.
“We are soon going to extend the service to patients in Cuttack. We are roping in like-minded voluntary organisations so that such services can be extended to remote areas. We want to extend people peace and dignity during the end days of their life,” he said.
As the concept of home-based palliative care service is unexplored in Odisha, a large section of cancer patients are deprived of proper support and care especially towards the end of life. The Bagchi-Karunashraya Home Care team aims to alleviate the suffering both for the patient and caregiver and provide the necessary support at home.
Although the hospice being set up at Info Valley will have 110 beds for in-patients and is expected to be ready by August 2023, the home-based palliative care service will cater to patients who do not need hospitalisation. Now available within 20 km radius of Bhubaneswar, the service will be expanded gradually through district nodes, voluntary organisations and service institutions.
Associate Medical Director Dr Babita P Abraham Varkey said, "We now have two specialised teams with trained doctors and nurses, who are attending to eight to 10 patients a day. We will recruit more people and train volunteers as caregivers to attend to as many patients needing counselling, psychosocial support and care. We also provide medicines, dressing support and consumables for bed-bound patients."
Chief Secretary Suresh Mahapatra inaugurated the city centre. He hoped the palliative care centre would open a new era of cancer care in Odisha and fulfil the basic need of the patients who generally feel dejected and miserable with pain towards the last part of their life.
An MoU was signed with AHPGIC on the occasion for collaborative activities in the treatment and management of the cancer patients. All 32 nodes providing chemotherapy in districts would operate in a hub and spoke model with the hospice once it is ready.
In April, Mindtree co-founder and chairman of Odisha Skill Development Authority Subroto Bagchi along with his wife Susmita Bagchi, chairperson of the Mo School programme had pledged Rs 340 crore for the establishment of the palliative care centre and a state-of-the-art cancer hospital in the city.
The 500-bed cancer hospital is coming up in collaboration with Bengaluru-based Shankara Cancer Foundation at the Info Valley. The Bagchi couple has committed Rs 210 crore for the project.