Home-care service for terminally ill

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By Staff Reporter
  • Published 2.07.09

A south Calcutta hospital on Wednesday launched a home-care service for terminally ill patients, aimed at “easing their pain”.

Terminally ill patients, like those suffering from cancer, find it difficult to visit doctors. Under the Sahay scheme, launched by Sri Aurobindo Seva Kendra, a team of doctors and paramedics will visit the patients. The team will carry nebulisers, ECG machines, oxygen cylinders, glucometers and consumables.

The private hospital, off Prince Anwar Shaw Road, has trained doctors, nurses and a social worker in various disciplines, including spiritualism, so that they can offer a holistic service to the patients in their most painful hours.

The scheme would initially be functional within a 3km radius around the hospital. The annual registration fee is Rs 300.

For enrolment, one can call 24733601/ 6977 (extension 201) or 9831262610.

“The team will visit each patient as often as needed and also keep track of their health over the phone. We are available 24x7 to tackle any emergency,” said Samiran Das, a consultant with the hospital and the head of the Sahay project.

Jaydip Biswas, a surgical oncologist and the director of Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute, appreciated the initiative. “I have seen the suffering of terminally-ill patients. After a stage there’s nothing one can do. It’s good that Sri Aurobindo Seva Kendra is doing something for them,” said Biswas, the chief guest at the launch of the project.

Apart from easing the pain, the team will counsel the patients and their family members. “Usually only one person looks after the patient. We will ask all family members to do something so the burden is not too heavy on one individual,” said Das.

Several doctors welcomed the initiative, saying hospitals in the city do not have pain-management experts.

“The problem is far more grave when it comes to patients suffering from terminal ailments like cancer,” said pain-management specialist Goutam Das.

“New York has over 1,500 pain specialists… Our city should at least have 100,” Das pointed out.