Why Kerala’s palliative care model is making an impact


When most people think of medical care, they typically think of visiting a hospital, and waiting long stretches of time to consult with a doctor. But for thousands of patients with terminal and serious illnesses in Kerala, care comes in the form of home visits by a team that is trained to help them cope with pain, and improve their quality of life.

Kerala leads by a large margin when it comes to providing such palliative care – according to one doctor, while in India, just about 2% of the patient population has access to palliative care, in Kerala, almost 60% of the patient population has access to palliative care. 

Johanna Deeksha travelled to the state to report on how the “Kerala model” of palliative care was set up, and the challenges it faces today. “I expected to see a lot of pain and sorrow,” Deeksha said. “However, when I started reporting I found it very heartening to see that medical professional and volunteers were only focused on helping patients live without pain. And if the patient died, they made it their jobs to help the families in the bereavement.”

She added, “Despite their regular tryst with death, they seemed like a community that was very positive and motivated.”

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Ajay Krishan,
Senior Editor

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