Palliative Care – More than a Last Resort

Palliative Care is specialized medical care provided by a multidisciplinary team for people with life-threatening illness where cure is no longer possible and relieving of suffering is the main aim. It provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms like shortness of breath, loss of appetite, nausea, constipation, difficulty sleeping, depression and much more. In addition, it also addresses the psychosocial and spiritual needs of patients and their families. The ultimate goal is to enhance their quality of life. It is applicable early in the course of illness and should not be looked at as a last resort.

Perak Palliative Care Society (PPCS) was established in 1995 by a group of volunteers who have dedicated their time and effort to make palliative home care service available to people who need it, irrespective of race or religion. The society is non-profit and non-governmental. According to Dr Koh Wai Keat, President of PPCS, the Society aims to offer a support system to help patients live as actively as possible until death at the place of their choice, as well as to help the family cope during the patient’s illness and in their own bereavement.

“Our services are provided free but cost on medications, dressing and nursing materials will be borne by the patient and their family. A variable amount of medical and nursing equipment is available to assist in coping at home,” said Dr. Koh. For many years due to nursing resource constraints, PPCS was only able to offer its home care services to clients who reside within a 20km radius of Ipoh. By 2010, PPCS was finally able to widen its service area up to Lumut to the West, Tapah to the South,and Kuala Kangsar to the North.

One of PPCS’s hope and vision is to see palliative care centres develop and mushroom in other major towns in Perak. The society has been working actively in providing assistance and training under it’s ‘Cendawan Project’ to those people interested in setting up their own palliative care teams in their own home town.

Other objectives of PPCS include providing palliative care education and training to other health care providers and promoting volunteerism.

For those interested in their services or in doing some volunteer work, contact:

Perak Palliative Care Society (PPCS)
54, Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah,
31400 Ipoh, Perak.
Telephone and Fax:  (605) 546 4732
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