Our Team > Palliative Medicine

Palliative Medicine - An Overview

The word ‘palliative’ means to comfort or to soothe, which is the ultimate duty of all medical professionals. Palliative medicine is a medical specialty which gives equal importance to the subjective patient experiences and the objective disease related clinical data. It is aimed at optimizing quality of life and mitigating suffering among people with serious long term illness. Palliative care considers patient & family as one unit. Palliative medicine stands unique in its person centered concept- ‘there is always something more to do’ which contrasts with the disease focused curative concept ‘there is nothing more to do’ in the management of life limiting terminal illness.

About the Division of Palliative Medicine

The Division provides specialist medical care working in close collaboration with other oncology services, physiotherapist & nutritionist. The goal is to provide the best possible patient and family centered care and there by improve the quality of life of those we serve. Our division is the only one among all the Regional Cancer Centres in the country to manufacture oral morphine formulations, which is given free to poor patients and at subsidized rates to those who can afford to pay.


To be the leader and provider of the absolute best in holistic, competent, compassionate, ethical and evidence based specialist palliative medical care.


  • Empathetic whole person approach by providing bio psycho socio cultural & spiritual care

  • To value each person from life through death by providing holistic care and support to ensure dignity & quality of life as well as death

  • To influence the course of the illness positively & to maximize the benefits of treatment

  • Being there for the patients & their families in their journey through the disease respecting their autonomy, values& goals

  • To support the patients to live as actively as possible till death and to die in peace and with dignity.

  • To support the family to cope through the patient’s illness and in their grief

  • To maintain honesty ,openness & sensitivity in communication

  • To express commitment to continuity of care & readiness to face any difficulties that may arise in the disease trajectory.

  • To collaborate with other clinical & paramedical services to provide the best possible patient and family centered care to those we serve.

  • To promote education & research in palliative medicine focusing on continuous quality improvement.

Scope of services

  • Comprehensive assessment & holistic symptom management
  • Palliative care is provided by a team of doctors, nurses and other specially trained people. The team is responsible for identification, management, follow up and referral of patients receiving palliative care services from the division. Our aim is to provide effective pain & other symptom control using both pharmacological and non-pharmacological measures. We provide outpatient, inpatient, consultation & day care services. We also provide home care services, bereavement support & social rehabilitation coordinating with Care Plus (NGO functioning for palliative care division, RCC). A patient requiring palliative care will have a detailed comprehensive assessment. Care plan is developed in collaboration with the patient and family taking into account their goals, preferences & choices.Provision of palliative care services is always in adherence to standard operating procedures.Treatment decisions are also based on the assessment of risks and benefits as well as the best evidence. Treatment alternatives are documented and communicated clearly to permit patient and family make informed choices.

  • Psychosocial support

    Psychological issues are assessed and managed based upon the best available evidence. Counseling is given to help reduce stress and burnout. Referrals to health care professionals with specialized skills are made when appropriate. We offer financial, social, psychological & spiritual support through linking and liaising with NGOs working with the division (Care plus, Ashtray & Kanavos) & through other local and state level agencies.

  • Information needs & decisive support

    We aim to give our patients honest information and resources that help them advocate for themselves, their families, and their communities.

  • Nutritional support

    We do assessment and counseling on feeding with regard to the nutritional needs specific to the stage of the illness and encourage patients to have a nutritious diet form locally available foods based on individual food access as well as eating habits. The service of the dietician is used as and when needed.

  • Rehabilitation support

    We work in close association with the lymphedema, stoma care & other rehabilitation services

  • Caring the carers

    We try to recognize the difficult situations encountered by the carers and help them find ways of utilizing effective coping strategies. Carers are provided with possible available resources for patient care.

  • End of life & bereavement support

    We take due steps to prepare both the patient and the family on the impending death attending to their physical, emotional and spiritual needs. End-of-life concerns, hopes, fears, and expectations are discussed openly and honestly in the context of social and cultural customs as appropriate.Comfort measures are provided when death is imminent. We take measures to support the family as they go through bereavement giving respect to customary & religious rituals.

  • Continuing professional development & sustainability

    All the team members are encouraged to maintain up to date skills in their area of work through refresher courses & training sessions appropriate for their role in the interdisciplinary team. We believe in mutual support, respect & recognition

  • Higher education & research in palliative care

    Developing academic palliative medicine programs and promoting high quality research in palliative care are given due priority to keep on moving with the global trend

  • Advocacy & community participation

    Advocacy at an individual, community, organizational & health system level is important to integrate palliative care in routine clinical care. Achieving higher level of community participation helps to deliver effective & efficient palliative care to the door step.

  • Academic activities

    • Training to post graduate students (MD, DM, MCh, Nursing, MSW), nursing staff & other health care professionals from within the institution and from other academic centres.

    • Training centre for IAPC‘ s ( Indian Association of Palliative Care) Certificate Course in Essentials of Palliative Medicine(CCEPC)

    • Observership in palliative medicine & supportive care for doctors, nurses and other health care professionals

    • Advanced postgraduate academic programs as well as community outreach programs in collaboration with the state health services are in the pipeline.

    Palliative Medicine Team »