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Novel Approaches in Cancer Study

Development of Palliative Care: The Current Situation in Saudi Arabia

Submission: November 01, 2021 Published: November 10, 2021

DOI: 10.31031/NACS.2021.06.000640

Volume6 Issue3


Palliative care is a specialty of its own consisting of comprehensive multidisciplinary healthcare delivery to patients with a wide range of life-threatening and life-shortening diseases, including cancer. Its primary goal is to relieve symptoms of suffering such as physical pain, psychosocial and spiritual problems that affect the quality-of-life for patients as well as their families. Palliative care has a vital role in providing comfort to patient and family during active interventions like chemotherapy and radiation therapies [1]. The palliative care service in Saudi Arabia started over three decades ago at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre (KFSH&RC) in Riyadh by Dr. Isbister [2]. Since then, the specialty has slowly expanded. Real changes came about in 2016 when the Ministry of Health (MOH) launched the Palliative Care/Last Phase Initiative as part of the Transformation of Healthcare - Vision 2030 [3]. By 2030, the Cancer care in Saudi Arabia is expected to grow by five to 10-fold. This prediction is defined by the changing demographics, with the age group most affected by cancer being the middle-aged and elderly [1]. The palliative care community in Saudi Arabia saw this as a great opportunity to develop the specialty on a national scale. The process of the development of Palliative Care/ last phase interventions was a long and meticulous one and has been very successful.

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