Palliative care unit to open at Faro hospital

Palliative care unit to open at Faro hospital

THE ALGARVE is to get its first mobile unit for palliative care dedicated to terminally ill patients and their families. The unit, the second in the country, opens this month and is based at Faro Hospital.

With a team of 10 professionals from the health sector, including doctors, nurses, psychologists, social workers and pharmaceuticals, the unit will start to provide support to chronic inpatients at the hospital.

The new team is part of a National Programme for Palliative Care, launched by the Health Minister in June of 2004. The Algarve unit joins another based at Hospital Santa Maria, in Lisbon.

The programme is organising a team for the Barlavento Hospital in Portimão this year, but no dates have been announced.

Assistance from the new palliative care team can be requested by any service at the Hospital and members will be based permanently at the hospital visiting terminally ill inpatients and their families.

According to Dagoberta Lima, who is the main director of the Faro team, “the country is finally realising that its population is getting older” and the palliative care is becoming crucial in a country where “90 per cent of the population dies of long disease”.

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