The concept of palliative care is still unknown to many. Owing to which, patients who are suffering from chronic illness, and are in the last stage of the disease do not visit the hospital.
To spread awareness about the palliative care treatment, Mumbai’s Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH) has started an initiative called – New Homecare.
Under the initiative, nurses from TMH are visiting the general physicians across Mumbai city, to gather the information about cancer patients who need palliative care.
Therefore, with this initiative, cancer patients, those who are in the last stage of the disease, will also receive treatment at their doorsteps.
Financial issues force many patients to leave treatment mid-way. To reach out to them, and provide medical aid, TMH has launched this campaign. TMH has also signed an MOU with an NGO, JASCAP. Under the initiative, the treatment will be provided free of cost.
While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Prof. Dr Jayita Deodhar, Palliative Medicine, TMH, said, “The palliative care unit has been started to provide medical help to the cancer patients. However, people are still unaware of this. Owing to which, patients do not come here. Therefore, to find the cancer patients, those who are in the last stage, we have started this campaign. With medicines, we are also trying to boost their willpower as well.”
Dr Deodhar further added, “Nurses attached to the palliative care department, visit different doctors across the city. They try and gather information about the cancer patients who are in the last stages. If the patient’s economic condition is not sound, then free of cost treatment is done here. For which, we have joined hands with JASCAP.”
Every year, around ten thousand patients get enrolled in TMH for the palliative care. Out of which 30% are senior citizens.
Dr Deodhar says, “We have formed four teams for ‘New Homecare’ initiative. The team consists of a nurse, doctor and a social worker. Soon, we will start ‘Nurse led New Home Care’ as well. Where nurses will go to the individual house and provide medical aid to the patient.”
Dr Pradnya Talwadekar, who is attached to the palliative care unit of children, said, “Cancer cases are rising in children. In case a child is diagnosed with cancer in the later stages, we admit them here for the treatment. Children between 0 to 18 years of age come here for treatment. Every month, we receive 30-40 new cases for palliative care.”
While KV Ganapati, CEO of NGO JASCAP, said, “We have joined hands with Tata Memorial Hospital to help provide medical facilities for cancer, HIV and Thalassemia affected people. We have signed an MOU with the hospital to find out cancer patients. We have also provided financial aid to the patients.”