Tuesday, Dec 06, 2022

India ranks low in palliative care: report

This is the second edition of the Index, updating and expanding upon the first iteration, which was published in 2010.

THE 2015 Quality of Death Index compiled by The Economist Intelligence Unit, an independent business within the Economist group providing forecasting and advisory services through research and analysis, has put India at one of the lowest ranking in palliative care across the world. The role of palliative care is to ensure that patient and the family can enjoy as good a quality of life as possible.

This is the second edition of the Index, updating and expanding upon the first iteration, which was published in 2010. The new and expanded 2015 Index evaluates 80 countries using 20 quantitative and qualitative indicators across five categories: the palliative and healthcare environment, human resources, the affordability of care, the quality of care and the level of community engagement. To build the Index, the EIU used official data and existing research for each country, and also interviewed palliative care experts from around the world.

India ranks a dismal 67th on the list while the UK has the best quality of death, and rich nations tend to rank the highest. This is due to comprehensive national policies, the extensive integration of palliative care into its National Health Service, and a strong hospice movement.

Priyadarshani Kulkarni, Secretary, Indian Association of Palliative care, in a statement issued on Monday, said that there was a time when most terminally ill patients were cared for at home and allowed to die peacefully.Today, they are rushed to hospitals. Our unrealistic hope is that once we take the patient to the hospital, he or she will get cured. Doctors are trained to try every heroic remedy possible and technology can keep vital organs functioning for long periods of time. This way, the duration of life is increased, the statement said.

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Last year, the Indian Association of Palliative Care and Indian Society of Critical Care Medicine jointly formulated guidelines for end-of-life care. But to implement these, a comprehensive national policy on palliative care is needed, which may include subsidies, and training for both doctors and nurses.

First published on: 22-12-2015 at 12:28:09 am
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