City to get 1st civic-run palliative care unit for cancer patientsUpdated: Feb 10, 2020 23:59 IST
The city is all set to get its first palliative care unit for cancer patients in a public hospital. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), in collaboration with a private agency, is planning a 54-bed unit in Grant Road exclusively for palliative care treatment for patients suffering from stage 4 cancer. The project has got an approval from BMC administration and is currently on the drawing board of the architecture department.
“The hospital will be constructed as an extension of BMC’s eye hospital. A part of the building, which was lying in a dilapidated condition, was demolished few years ago. Now that 2,000 sq metre area will be used for the construction of the new hospital,” said Dr Padmaja Keskar, executive health officer, BMC (Health). “This will be the first civic-run hospital to provide palliative healthcare to cancer patients in the city,” she added.
Palliative care includes a variety of medical services for those suffering from last stage of serious illnesses, such as cancer, chronic infections like HIV, drug-resistant tuberculosis, renal and liver failure, and helps improve their quality of life.
While some private hospitals and clinics in Mumbai do provide palliative care to patients, it is too expensive. Some private agencies also provide similar home services for bedridden patients.
Tata Memorial Hospital in Parel, which has India’s oldest palliative care unit — established in 1996 — has provided the service to more than 20,000 patients over the past three years. However, no civic-run hospital in Mumbai has palliative care units for cancer patients.
Amin Patel, an MLA who is the driving force behind the project, said it is a patient’s right to die with integrity and hence, palliative care has become the need of the hour. “We are in the final stage of getting approvals for the hospital. The process will likely be completed this week. With the palliative care unit in the hospital, hundreds of poor patients suffering from cancer will be able to opt for care at an affordable rate,” he said.