Important breakthrough for palliative care


A special ambulance brigade has been created in Severodonetsk (Luhansk oblast) for providing strong painkillers and similar palliative treatment for terminally ill patients in their own homes.  This is a first for the Luhansk oblast and by no means a small matter for people suffering terrible pain and their families. Although plans are underway to enable more pharmacies to hold strong medical drugs, at present there are only a few pharmacies that can meet the stringent requirements, and normal ambulances cannot issue such drugs.  The measures may have been once taken for good motives, but they leave cancer patients and others in desperate need of palliative support without any respite..  

The move in Severodonetsk, Oleksy Svyetikov reports, is to a large extent thanks to determination by the public. , Back in 2011 a resident of Severodonetsk whose father was suffering unbearable pain and in acute need of strong doses of morphine was unable to get any assistance. His father was in too serious a state to be taken to the hospital, and the latter refused to send a nurse to administer the painkilling drug.

This led to appeals, approaches to deputies and MPs, articles in the local and Kyiv press. The answer from medical staff was that there were no provisions for providing strong painkillers for patients at home and no funds to do so.

They have now listened: the number of hospice beds at the hospital has been increased to 10, and the new ambulance brigade created.

Oleksy Svyetikov’s thank you is seconded!

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