As part of the its efforts on the ‘uberisation‘ of healthcare, the government is looking to expand home care-based palliative care services, says Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye. Dr Lee said when palliative care medicine was recognize as a medical subspecialty in 2008, the government has churn out 11 palliative care specialists. He added that six public hospitals now have palliative care specialists.
Providing palliative care
Home health care can play a critical role in providing palliative care and; so through innovative programs, can improve access to it. This article provides context and background on the provision of palliative care; also explores how home health can work seamlessly in coordination with other health care stakeholders in providing palliative care.
Palliative care means patient- and family-centered care that optimizes quality of life by anticipating, preventing, and treating suffering. Palliative care throughout the continuum of illness involves addressing physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual needs and [facilitating] patient autonomy, access to information, and choice.
They are expanding the services, and through our health clinics; so they are providing home care base palliative care services, apart from the usual home visit. Dr Lee said the government was expanding its palliative care services, as it knew it was cheaper to keep patients at home rather than in the hospital for a patient’s end-of-life care. They say the services were done through the government’s health clinics.
Fear ridden and painful experience
Hospis Malaysia chairman Datin Kathleen Chew, who was at the launch; hence says there was a need to recognise that those at the end of life matter, just as much as those in their prime of life. To live well must include dying well, and this is not wishful thinking. At Hospis Malaysia, they know it is possible that with appropriate support; so dying does not have to be a chaotic, fear-ridden and painful experience.
In fact, families can well support, and death can even be meaningful,” they says. The campaign features stories of patients with life-limiting illnesses and highlighting the work of palliative care practitioners; also the importance of placing the patient at the centre of any care plan.
The public can view the Speak Up Because they Matter exhibition at the concourse level of Suria KLCC. Model elephants from its 2018 campaign Speak Up There’s an Elephant in the Room to encourage conversations to support these families, are also on display.