ALOR STAR: Almost 1,000 patients had and are receiving palliative care at the Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital (SBH) here, since 2015 until to date, in the effort to ease the pain and suffering experienced by the stage three and four cancer sufferers.
Kedah Health Department director Datuk Dr Norhizan Ismail said palliative care was a service which provided an additional layer of support for patients, their families and caregivers for every stage of dangerous diseases experienced by a person such as cancer, organ failure or progressive neurological disorder.
‘’According to estimates, as many as 100,000 Malaysians need palliative care, whereby about 9,000 patients are from Kedah. Of the total, 925 patients receive sub-specialities palliative services at SBH while the balance receive expert service at other hospitals.
‘’The development of palliative service at SBH began at the end of 2015 where referral services for internal patients were provided at SBH and clinics for outpatients were set up. In April 2016, two special beds were provided for palliative patients before home car services were provided for patients, who had the need of palliative at home, were developed,’’ he told Bernama here today.
Dr Norhizan said that, in the past year, the HSB Palliative Support Group consisting of health care professionals, medical social workers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and counsellors had been established, whereby this group acted to help provide emotional, social needs and provide support to patients and families.
“We also hold a meeting for the patient and family every month other than lending equipment such as oxygen machines for patients who are at home. Until to date, 15 oxygen concentrator machines are being used to help patients,’’ he said.
Earlier, over 200 participants of various ages and from all walks of life took part in a five-kilometre run in conjunction with the State Level 2019 Palliative Care Awareness Day at SBH, who were flagged off by its deputy director 1 Dr Farique Rizal Abd Hamid. — Bernama