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Oman seminar to focus on palliative care

MUSCAT, August 7, 2018

A major seminar on palliative care in Oman will take place next week at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, participated by senior healthcare officials and experts.

The seminar, on August 14, will be opened by Health Minister Dr Ahmed Mohammed Al-Saidi, and the keynote speaker will be Professor Richard Harding from the Centre for Global Health Palliative Care, Cicely Saunders Institute, King's College, London.

Palliative care improves the quality of life for patients (adults and children) and their families who are facing the challenges associated with life-threatening illness. It prevents and relieves suffering, through correct assessment of pain and other problems and enables patients and families to maintain the best quality of life, whatever the diagnosis, by providing expert practical care along with emotional support.

In Oman, palliative care is still in its infancy and consequently, many acute hospital beds are blocked by patents who would benefit from this specialised form of care with its many advantages. Unblocking expensive acute beds in hospitals in the Sultanate would enable them to work more efficiently and be more cost effective whilst at the same time improving the quality of life for palliative care patients.  

The Oman Cancer Association has recently funded the training of 180 nurses for palliative care in the community which enables patients to be cared for in their own homes and more training is planned. The Oncology Department at the Royal Hospital is spearheading this community care approach.  

A Comprehensive Cancer Care Centre is being built at Sultan Qaboos University funded by Royal Court Affairs and this project will also incorporate palliative care. There are also some private sector initiatives in rehabilitation moving towards palliative care, particularly for the stroke and accident victims. 

Private Public Partnership (PPP) will be the likely model for the establishment of other palliative care facilities.  In 2020, Oman will host the International World Oncology Conference at the new Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre.  With all these initiatives, the time is right to introduce palliative care throughout Oman, said the statement. 

Palliative care is most often associated with terminal cancer but there are many other chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease and diabetes where palliative care is needed. In children, there are congenital abnormalities and genetic conditions.  Palliative care also has a role to play in the care of the elderly and particularly patients in with dementia and Alzheimer's disease.  As the ageing population of Oman grows, there will be an increasing demand for special health care services for senior citizens, it said.

There are many aspects to palliative care, including changes in legislation to allow people to be treated in their own homes. There is also the work of raising awareness within the community which is one of the goals of this seminar, it said. – TradeArabia News Service  




Tags: Oman | care |

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