Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 65--70

Home-based palliative services under two local self-government institutions of Kerala, India: An assessment of compliance with policy and guidelines to local self-government institutions

Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, n Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Kharagpur, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Rajeev Jayalakshmi
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Kharagpur, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-1075.197947

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Background: In contrast to India's poor performance in palliative and end-of-life care, the state of Kerala has gained considerable attention for its palliative care (PC) policy. This study tried to understand the structure, organization, and delivery of the program currently offered to the rural population, and its conformity to the state's PC policy and guidelines for Local Self-government Institutions (LSGIs). Materials and Methods: A descriptive research design involving a review of Kerala palliative policy and guidelines for LSGIs was followed by direct field observation and interviews of stakeholders. Two LSGIs in rural Kerala served also by a nongovernmental organization (NGO), were selected. Data were collected from health workers (doctors, nurses, and PC nurses), government stakeholders (LSGI members and representatives of the National Health Mission), and the health workers and officials of NGO. Results: The program in two LSGIs varies considerably in terms of composition of the palliative team, infrastructure and human resource, cost, and type of service provided to the community. A comparative assessment with a nongovernmental service provider shows that the services offered by the LSGIs seemed to be restricted in scope to meet the needs of the resource-stricken community. Compliance with policy guidelines seems to be poor for both the LSGIs. Conclusions: Despite a robust policy, the palliative program lacks a public health approach to end-of-life care. A structural reconfiguration of the delivery system is needed, involving greater state responsibility and political will in integrating PC within a broader social organization of care.


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