NEW DELHI: A committee, which was constituted by Delhi High Court to assess medical infrastructure of state-run hospitals, will now examine the need to have a dedicated hospital for palliative care in the national capital. After examining the matter, the committee will apprise the court accordingly, said Dr SK Sarin, the head of the committee and the chancellor of Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences.
“There is no dedicated palliative care hospital in entire Delhi and it is the need of the hour.Hundreds of terminally ill patients in need of palliative care will be benefited by such dedicated hospitals. On the other hand, the relatives of such patients will get great relief,” said advocate Ashok Agarwal, who raised this matter in the court recently.
In a letter to Dr Sarin, Agarwal requested the committee to consider suggestions of the need to have a dedicated hospital for palliative care in Delhi and make necessary recommendations about it to the court. He stated that a large number of terminally ill patients who only require the best palliative care/supportive care were occupying beds in govt hospitals. Besides, several such EWS patients also keep occupying beds for long in 61 identified private hospitals. In most cases, relatives of the patients show their inability to arrange palliative care at their respective homes, he added.
The advocate further stated, “Many times, we have noted that the critical care beds earmarked for EWS patients are occupied by terminally ill EWS patients, and that too for a long time. We all know that EWS critical beds in private hospitals are very limited in number. If they are occupied by terminally ill patients and not provided to patients in waiting, the system will become unworkable and counterproductive”.
Agarwal suggested that the dedicated hospital should also arrange a programmer for training and educating the relatives of such terminally ill patients in regard to providing palliative care at home. In that situation, if any facility is required, the same may be provided at home at 100% govt costs.
The issue was also brought to the notice of health minister Saurabh Bhardwaj through a letter dated March 2, but no response has been received till date, claimed Agarwal. The minister did not respond to the TOI’s query in this connection.