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What people don't realise is how expensive it is to die

There is scant thought for patients as palliative care facilities close amid a ‘scandalous’ lack of funding

At least 10 hospices have been forced to shut down their in-patient units over the past two years because of a lack of funding.

Hospice Palliative Care Association (HPCA) CEO Liz Gwyther told Times Select that hospices rely on overseas donations and fundraising initiatives to keep their operations going. Only 10% of their funding comes from the government.

There are 140 independently run hospices in SA, who operate under the umbrella of the HPCA, which accredits them against a set of standards.

Research shows that dying people live longer in hospices when their emotional and physical pain is taken care of, said Gwyther.

But there is a “scandalous” lack of funding for South African hospices, said Shaun Thomas, HPCA marketing.

“When funding runs out, what happens to the patients?" asked Gwyther, a palliative care doctor.

She said doctors are often quoted as saying there is nothing more that can be done for a terminally ill patient. But “there is always something more”. Well-trained doctors with experience in pain management can control pain, including pain caused by cancer, she said.

Reference: Times Live Article

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