Palliative care progress
MODEL: DEVELOPED TO IMPROVE QUALITY OF MANAGEMENT OF PATIENTS
The Western Cape has several metropolitan hospital-based services.
Amulti-professional patient-centred approach was needed to provide the necessary palliative care to people suffering from life-threatening illnesses, according to a recent health study.
The major findings are contained in a research by experts from Stellenbosch University, Thames Valley and Wessex Leadership Academy in the United Kingdom, Western Cape department of health and the department of palliative care at Knysna Sedgefield Hospice. It was published in the African Journal of Primary Health Care and Family Medicine.
“A multi-professional patient-centred approach and improved communication between different components of the health system provides a more seamless service that supports palliative patients when they need it most,” said lead author, Stellenbosch University professor Louis Jenkins, who is also head of family medicine at George Hospital.
In focusing on palliative care in the Western Cape, Jenkins said the team found caring for people with life-threatening illnesses was “a key part of working in healthcare”, which had to be integrated into existing public health care.
In terms of World Health Organisation statistics, about 40 million people in the world each year needed palliative care, with only 14% receiving it.
Of these, 78% live in low or middle-income countries.