Regional Cancer Centre’s pain-relief unit short of staff

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Srinagar, Dec 25: The Pain and Palliative Care Unit at Regional Cancer Center (RCC), SKIMS, is suffering shortage of staff.
Pain and Palliative care unit was established in 2013 for advanced-stage cancer patients.
“The only aim of this unit was to provide mental and physical relief to patients in pain and whose chances of survival are almost zero,” said an official.
Despite the growing epidemics of cancer in Kashmir, the unit is facing a deficit of manpower.
Currently the unit is run by only two doctors and a nurse and a few non-technical people.
Cancer patients, who are in pain and in need of the palliative care unit, the patients there even don’t know about any such unit exiting in the hospital.
Khan Hamid-ul-allah, suffering from stage three lung cancer, has undergone one surgery two years back when it was detected.
He was admitted again on November 27 after he complained of severe pain.
His elder son told The Kashmir Monitor: “My father has been suffering from intense pain for the last two weeks, but we are not aware of this pain and palliative care and no one even informed us about this unit.”
Another elderly man suffering advanced-stage prostate cancer is also in intense pain.
One of his sons said his father is on pain killers and could not resist the pain at times.
“We are not aware about the pain relief unit, as nobody informed us or suggested us to visit the unit despite my father is in severe agony.”
Director SKIMS, Dr Omar Javaid, said they would recruit staff in RCC soon.
“We are sending the proposal for different staff and cadres in the cancer section, and the government is already in favor. We hope the manpower crunch will be over in the coming year.

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