Palliative Care Status Update in India

We are excited to inform you that the IAPC has drawn upon this year’s World Hospice and Palliative Care Day (WHPCD) theme, ‘Leave no-one behind – equity in access to palliative care’, to put together a special feature with an update on the status of palliative care services from every State in the country.

The idea of this special feature is to generate awareness on how palliative care is being delivered in different parts of the country and to facilitate a cross fertilisation of ideas by encouraging networking and collaborations to improve the overall momentum of palliative care across the country. With this special feature, we also wish to draw your attention towards the inadequate integration of palliative care within the healthcare system and the subsequent inequity in access to Palliative care. 

This humble effort of the IAPC, with the immense support and cooperation from all the contributors, is an evolving project and only a start towards creating a database for the status of palliative care in the country.

To begin with, we are thrilled that palliative care services, in some capacity, are now locally available in all of India’s States and Union Territories, with the exceptions of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and Daman and Diu and Nagar and Haveli. It is also heartening to see the development of institution-based palliative care across the country, which was lacking in the past 3-4 decades. Several institutions of national importance now offer, or are beginning to offer, post graduate courses in palliative medicine; the cumulative efforts leading towards an improvement in the status of palliative care in the country.

While compiling this report, several interesting highlights came to the forefront. To name a few, the differing perspectives on whether a separate State palliative care policy is now actually needed in light of the NPPC’s implementation across the country, the ability of some States to provision care using only locally available resources, the adaptability of a State to continue providing virtual trainings for centers to receive RMI status despite the pandemic imposed limitations, the innovativeness of a State to integrate a cancer registry staff to be a part of their team to ensure statistics were collected, stood out. This list goes on.

It was also delightful to observe that palliative care provisioning in a few States was primarily led due to the initiatives of the respective State Governments’ in comparison to the commonly observed NGOs or private practitioners-led service provisioning.

We would like to reiterate that this report is only a step towards creating a concrete evidence base and that our contributors have done their best to share the information accessible to them despite their various limitations. The report will be available permanently on our website and will be converted to a more evidence based resource over time. We invite those interested to please connect with us and contribute towards making this database more robust and evidence based.

We once again extend our deepest gratitude to all the contributors for their enthusiasm, efforts, timely support and cooperation, without which this project would not have been possible. Thank you dear contributors!

With warm regards,

The Editorial Team

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Join with us in our effort to provide palliative care to the suffering fellow beings. You can support the activities of Indian Association of Palliative Care (IAPC), the national level Umbrella Organization for Palliative Care groups working in India, by:

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  • Concept, Compilation and Editing: Ms. Archana Ganesh, Assistant National Information Officer, IAPC
  • Support and Review: Ms. Nisha Krishnadas, National Information Officer, IAPC
  • Design: Mr. Rintesh Roy