Grand Hyatt Hotel will host a seminar on palliative care on August 14. Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Al-Saidi, Minister of Health will inaugurate the seminar while Professor Richard Harding from the Centre for Global Health Palliative Care in UK will be the keynote speaker.
In Oman, palliative care is still in its infancy stage and consequently many acute hospital beds are blocked by patents who would benefit from this specialised form of care with its many advantages. The Oman Cancer Association has recently funded the training of 180 nurses for palliative care in the community. 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.
What is palliative care?
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.