Hospice at Home Programme - Why this model?
To understand we need to be aware of how health care is delivered in the country. Prior to 1992 (and till today) health care was available at hospitals and clinics with no extension of care by health professionals to the home of a patient. So in the home it is self-care and or care by the family and at times friends.
In contrast in developed countries health care professionals and allied professionals are available to provide appropriate care in the home. Hence the decision was made to take professional care to the home of the patient. It is pertinent to note that currently there are ABOUT 27 hospice NGO’s providing community service in Malaysia of whom 23 use this model and two have inpatient services only. In summary the reasons are:
Absence of a domiciliary nursing care service/home visits by GP’s
Patient and family choice is for care at home
More economical than institutional care
It is easier to set up
When death is likely, the choice of site of care of patient and family is home
Needs less resources
Family support still available
Effective to have family carer (primary carer) to look after patient
Any person living in Penang who has advanced cancer, neurological, respiratory, cardiac or renal disease.
A requirement is that a family member is available as the primary carer.
An advice is that the patient continues to keep any appointment with their own doctors.
If a Family doctor is visiting the patient at home we will work with the doctor to provide care.
The doctor looking after the patient or the patient himself or a family member can make the request, either by phone, fax, email or in person. The request can be made when the patient is at home or in a hospital. It will be of great help if there is a referral letter from your doctor (we have supplied all the hospitals in Penang with our referral letter) so that we can know more about your illness, the treatment and investigations and your current medications.
Currently we have as staff two Palliative Care Physicians (part time) and eight Palliative Care Nurses. Four of these nurses are stationed on the island and three in Seberang Perai. One is undergoing a one year Advanced Diploma in Palliative Care course conducted by the Ministry of Health. In addition we have a few volunteer doctors.
Currently at any one time we have about 160 patients under care.
The Cumulative Total of Patients Given Care Since 1992 to the End of 2016