MEC Health officially opens palliative care centre at victoria hospital
Minister Mbombo Officially Opens Palliative Care Centre at Victoria Hospital in Honour of World Hospice and Palliative Care Day
On Friday, 11 October, Western Cape Minister of Health, Dr. Nomafrench Mbombo, opened the new Abundant Life Palliative Care Centre at Victoria Hospital in celebration of World Hospice and Palliative Care Day that is commemorated annually on 12 October.
This year’s theme for World Hospice Day is “It’s my right, It’s my care”. Minister Mbombo hailed the efforts of medical staff, NGO’s, partner organisations, community cased workers and all stakeholders working effortlessly in the Western Cape in order to ensure that every patient of the DOH has the right to palliative care, and to be treated with dignity.
“It is imperative that we raise awareness, and ensure that our health staff are able to respond with empathy and care to ALL patients in our system. This new palliative care service centre at Victoria Hospital will provide patients with the opportunity to manage their possible life-threatening condition in an empowering and dignified manner," Minister Mbombo said.
The Abundant Life Palliative Care project was initiated ten years ago by Dr. Clint Cupido at Victoria Hospital as a patient-centered approach that aimed to improve the quality of life of patients and their families facing the challenges associated with life-threatening illness.
Dr. Cupido ssaid the new centre will provide much needed office space for staff, counseling rooms, space for group sessions and meetings, training space for nurses, doctor and volunteers, host events and debriefing of doctors and bereavement services.
“Pallitaive care is merely a part of the health care of the patient, but does however require specific training, understanding and emotional capacity to deal with very sick patients, who are vulnerable, in a difficult time of the cycle of life” Dr. Cupido said.
“Importantly these patients do not come merely as individuals but they are members of a family and a community that needs to be nurtured through this time in their life. The opening of the Abundant Life Palliative Care centre marks the start of a new era in the roll out of palliative care within the public health care service.”
The Western Cape Government Department of Health offers palliative care alongside curative care. This service is not always for patients who are dying and extends to those with serious conditions, for example renal failure, cancer or resistant TB. Palliative care supports the patient and the family by equipping them to manage their situation themselves without having to rush to Emergency Care. It also means they have a good relationship with the treating physician and feel supported and empowered with the knowledge and skills to support their loved one.
Palliative care also offers support to a dying patient’s family and prepare them for the end and when their loved one has passed away. It is not a separate service or approach, but part of the way DOH delivers a patient-centered service.
In reflecting about the day and what it means to him, Dr Cupido said, “I am merely the representative of Abundant life palliative care. Despite the fact that my name is associated with Abundant life palliative care the service is ultimately provided by a team of health care workers, which includes Sr Elizabeth Pitou, Elizebeth de Klerk and Jenny Isaacs our bed side counsellors, Rebecca Lazarus our social worker and all the nursing staff, medical staff, allied health workers, cleaners administrative staff, security, every single member of the team at Victoria hospital.”
Principal Communications Officer: Southern Western Sub-structures
Department of Health
Western Cape Government
Tel: 021 202 0947
Mobile: 081 277 0516