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Sri Lanka has a rapidly aging population with an exponential rise in chronic morbidity. There had been no parallel development of palliative and end-of-life care-specific approach in health care.
To implement sustainable palliative and end-of-life care services in Sri Lanka through the existing systems and resources by advocacy, collaboration, and professional commitment.
Sri Lanka Medical Association established a volunteer task force for palliative and end-of-life care (PCTF) in October 2016, which comprised of multi-disciplinary health care professionals, legal fraternity, and civil society. PCTF identified the need for sensitizing the general public on the importance of palliative care, for standard guidelines and formal training for practicing health care professionals engaged in hospital and community-based palliative care. These needs are addressed through activities of PCTF in collaboration with the Ministry of Health.
Representing the National Steering Committee of Palliative Care, the members of the PCTF were instrumental in developing the National Strategic Framework to fill the major gap of affordable quality palliative care in the country. PCTF also published the “Palliative Care Manual for Management of Non-Cancer Patients” as a preliminary guide for health care professionals. The draft document on the End-of-Life Care Guidelines has been formulated and is currently being reviewed by the relevant medical and legal stakeholders. PCTF has organized CME lectures on palliative care all over the country for health care professionals, and also conducted lectures, exhibitions, and mass media programs to sensitize the public on palliative care.
Within a brief period, PCTF has played a key role to recognize palliative care by contributing to policy making, training, and public sensitization in palliative and end-of-life care in Sri Lanka.
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