Pallium India had the privilege of attending a planning meeting organized by the Division of Palliative Care of Malaysia’s Ministry of Health in Kuala Lumpur, 8-9 November 2011.
The division is headed by Dr Richard Lim, who, in the 1990s, had come as a young doctor to spend time with palliative care workers in Kerala.
The partnership between Government and Non-Government Organizations adopted by Kerala’s palliative care policy came up in discussion at the meeting.
With the blessings of Dr Azmi Shapie, the Health Ministry’s Director of Medical Development, the meeting decided to develop the framework for an action plan for Malaysia.
The meeting, as well as the progress in Malaysia would offer useful lessons for us in India, especially considering that even after a quarter of century of palliative care in India: 99% of our population has no access to it.
Malaysia is way ahead of India in access to palliative care, though the state of Kerala might be an exception.