Pilot scheme eases end-of-life pain

PHOTO: Pilot scheme eases end-of-life pain

SINGAPORE - Pilot schemes in place in nursing homes and hospitals are aimed at easing the suffering of patients near the end of their lives.

An example of such a scheme is Project Care. Focused on advanced care planning (ACP), doctors attached to Project Care are sent to nursing homes when a member of the programme becomes seriously ill.

Patients will not have to go to hospital for further treatment which could cause them more pain. Doctors will instead be able to focus on reducing patients' suffering.

According to The Straits Times the Project Care team has two permanent doctors - Dr Ian Leong, head of TTSH's department of continuing and community care, and Dr Siew Chee Weng, a consultant family physician at the hospital.

There are also two doctors on rotation, four nurses, and a medical social worker. Since it started in 2009, the scheme has screened 1,600 residents from seven nursing homes around TTSH. About 400 have entered the project.

Project Care is just one example of a palliative care pilot scheme already in place and more are expected as the Ministry of Health shifts its focus onto this form of care.