Dr Richard Smith blogs on the BMJ website about issues relating to global access to palliative care.
What has been achieved in Kerala, he says, is a model for the rest of the world.
A palliative care service run entirely by health professionals is not only logistically impossible for most of the world but also undesirable, suggests WHO. Libby Sallnow, a research fellow from Edinburgh University, described the remarkable Neighbourhood Network in Palliative Care in Kerala, which is based on the concept that “chronic and incurable diseases are social problems with medical complications.”
[…] Kerala seems to have overtaken Britain with both access and provision of meaningful care, and its model is beginning to spread. […] Bangladesh, which at the moment has no palliative care services, hopes to learn from Kerala.
[…] The Kerala model does provide a feasible way of achieving Murray’s vision of palliative care covering “all patients, all diseases, all nations, all settings, and all dimensions.” It’s hard to see how it will be achieved in another way.
What a huge responsibility!
Palliative care activists in Kerala now have to work hard to keep up the reputation – to make sure that palliative care maintains a minimum quality and that it reaches patients early.