“Less than 1% of India’s 1.2 billion population has access to palliative care. The efforts by pioneers over the last quarter of a century have resulted in progress, some of which may hold lessons for the rest of the developing world. In recent years, a few of the major barriers have begun to be overcome. The South Indian state of Kerala, which has 3% of India’s population, stands out in terms of achieving coverage of palliative care. This has been achieved initially by non-government charitable activity, which catalysed the creation of a government palliative care policy. The nongovernment action, by involving the community, serves to strive for quality of care as the government system improves coverage. On the national level, recent years saw several improvements, including the creation of a National Program for Palliative Care (NPPC) by the government of India in 2012. The year 2014 saw the landmark action by the Indian Parliament, which amended India’s infamous Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, thus overcoming many of the legal barriers to opioid access. Education of professionals and public awareness are now seen to be the greatest needs for improving access to palliative care in India.”
In an article published in cancercontrol.info titled The current status of palliative care in India, Dr M. R. Rajagopal, Chairman of Pallium India, writes about the emergence of palliative care in the country – its origins, the barriers to opioid availability and how some of those barriers came to be simplified thanks to the continued efforts of many people from India and abroad, and the current status.
Read the complete article here.