Published on: October 11, 2010

Dr Richard Lim from Malaysia writes to introduce their new Evidence Based Clinical Practice Guideline on Cancer Pain Management in Malaysia.

A large official launch by the Ministry of Health will take place sometime in December or January. They are also preparing a training module and will be starting a series of roadshows to promote this guideline.

You can download the Guidelines from the MOH website:

Dr Lim continues to write that it took them a good 2 years to get it all done and hopes that it will serve as a useful reference for all healthcare workers in Malaysia managing patients with cancer.

Having scanned through the document, we find it to be an excellent resource for India too. True, some of their drugs are not available in India, and they do not seem to have some low cost drugs that we use over here; but by and large, it will be a useful addition to the armamentarium for palliative care institutions in India.

And please make note of another important hidden message in Dr Lim’s email – his efforts do not stop with the publication of the guidelines – they are going on to a “public launch” and “road shows“.

Unless the guidelines reach the consumers, what is the use? A lesson to learn there, is there not?

Some of us remember Dr Lim as a vibrant young medical student who visited the Calicut Palliative Care Centre in the 1990s and are not at all surprised to find him to be such an achiever!

2 responses to “Malaysia’s Pain Management Guidelines”

  1. Shereen Yunos says:

    I suffer from Interstitial Cystitis ( Painful Bladder Syndrome) and so many of us women, men and children suffer from severe, debilitating pain everyday. We urgently need to be recognized as candidates for pain management because there is no known cure to this condition and it comes at a heavy price of insatiable pain.

    the American Pain Council has acknowledged the pain of IC the same as that of end stage cancer. The cancer stricken patient is a lot luckier because he/ she is given pain management whereas someone with IC who is in equal insane pain, is not given the same opportunity.

    The mindset has to be changed. Pain is pain. Does not matter if you’re dying by it or not. No one in a humane society should be left to endure endless pain. We wouldn’t do that to our pets, so why deny a human being the right to be free of pain?

    I implore all the policy makers out there to look into Interstitial Cystitis and recognize it as a disease that requires pain management urgently.

    Thank you.


  2. Rajagopal says:

    I agree with Shereen completely. What Shereen says is true not only about interstitial cystitis, but also about many diseases which do not have the strength of numbers like cancer. The suffering can be enormous and doctors often add insult to injury by branding them as “psychological”.
    The medical system has to learn to try to alleviate suffering, whether or not cure is possible, and whether or not the disease is well-understood.

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