Dr B.R.A Institute Rotary Cancer Hospital is a 200 bedded Tertiary cancer hospital attached to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. Palliative medicine services are offered in the outdoor patient department (alongside the Pain clinic and PAC services), inpatient six bedded ward (Palliative care unit) and as part of a consultation liaison model of service delivery. The MD Palliative medicine training programme was introduced in 2016 and has a proposed intake of four students per year.
Palliative medicine services are closely integrated with the Department of Onco-anaesthesiology. The Department boasts of permanent faculty members (trained in Anaesthesiology and Pain management), Senior residents (in Oncoanaesthesiology and Palliative medicine) along with Junior residents (in training in Palliative medicine). The daily Palliative/Supportive medicine ward round involves a comprehensive patient review with active participation of Faculty members, residents
(Oncoanaesthesiology, Palliative medicine, Medical oncology, Physiotherapy) and nursing staff. A consultation liaison is arranged from faculty members from the Department of Radiation Oncology, Surgical oncology and Medical super-specialities when indicated.
The department encourages cancer directed therapy where feasible and therefore prides itself as being ahead of the times in proposing a model of patient management which incorporates various aspects of disease directed therapy, supportive care and palliative care (including quality end of life care provision) as part of a continuum. The underlying philosophy hinges upon a larger role for the palliative medicine professional with emphasis on their direct involvement in critical areas of supportive oncology including (but not limited to) management of complex medical and psychosocial conditions, procedures such as therapeutic paracentesis, pigtail insertion and interventional pain management techniques.
Palliative and supportive care
This inpatient integrated service delivery model intends to be a torch bearer in laying down the provisions for providing Palliative/supportive medicine services for the rest of the country. The fact that patients who are receiving only symptomatic management are not segregated from patients who are on active cancer directed therapy represents a unique achievement of this model. In the epicenter of delivery of healthcare services, we have been able to cut down significantly on the time spent for the patient in obtaining an expert consultation liaison and this represents an important singular validation of the success of this model. The healthcare professional is not merely a supervisor but forms an integral component of the patient's journey - as a friend and a guide.