Syed Askari, Regional Facilitator, Pallium India, writes:
As part of our official visit to Madhya Pradesh in June 2023, Shalini AJ (Head, State Facilitation team, Pallium India) and I travelled to Indore city where we visited the Indore Cancer Foundation, Choithram Hospital, Sri Aurobindo Medical College, District Government Cancer Hospital, Christian Mission Hospital, Vishesh Jupiter Hospital, and Shalby Hospital. Then we went to Ujjain City and visited the district hospital in Ujjain, the Pain and Palliative Care Center, and met State Cancer Nodal Officer, Dr. C.M. Tripathi. We also went to Bhopal to the Jawaharlal Nehru Cancer Hospital, the Lake City Hospital, and the AIIMS and we also met prominent government officials like MD, NHM Dr. Ashish Kumar Saxena and the Drug Controller Mr. Shobhit.
Education: Training and Awareness
Pallium India’s State Facilitation Team has submitted a 10 days onsite foundation course in palliative care to Christian Mission Hospital. We have also initiated a discussion to have a training programme through our implementation team with the State MD, NHM and DME of Madhya Pradesh.
The State of Madhya Pradesh does not currently have a State Palliative Care policy. However, the Government of Madhya Pradesh began initiating the Palliative Care Program since 2018 under the umbrella of the National Program for Palliative Care (NPPC).
In Madhya Pradesh, it is evident that the NDPS amendment rules have been implemented. There are no hurdles or hindrances towards procuring the Essential Narcotic Drugs as per the amended NDPS Act. The RMI certificate for procuring the opioids was available for Lake City Hospital and Vishesh Jupiter Hospital.
Current Challenges towards implementing PC within the state
- Lack of knowledge about palliative care among the general Community.
- There is a lack of understanding and acceptance of palliative care among oncologists and other practicing doctors.
- Difficulty obtaining necessary opioids within the state.
- There are not enough doctors, nurses and social workers with training in palliative care.
Future Plans to expand PC throughout the state:
- To establish palliative care centers by educating staff members who can provide OP/IP and home care services and procure necessary opioids for these centers in the major areas of MP.
- Generate awareness regarding palliative care among the community so that the demand for such services increases.
- Spread knowledge about palliative care across the general public to raise demand for these treatments.
- Similar practical Palliative Care training should be held for nurses and doctors from different district hospitals.
- Train the PHC and SHC staff as well as the field crew.