Dr Luzviminda S. Kwong is Head of the St. Luke’s Pain Management Center in Quezon City, as well as Executive Vice President of the Hospice Philippines, a trustee of the Philippine Board of Pain Medicine and the immediate Past President of the Pain Society of the Philippines.
Writing for The Philippine Star, Dr Kwong explains that palliative care is not just about caring for people at the end of life: “In a nutshell, all patients suffering from grief and pain deserve palliative care whether they are terminally ill, expected to recover fully, or facing years with debilitating symptoms of a chronic or progressive disease.”
She describes how palliative care can help with the side effects of treatments, as well as the symptoms of the disease, helping patients to carry on with their daily lives while also improving their ability to undergo or complete their medical treatments.
Dr Kwong says: “With palliative care, there is as much effort and attention on relieving pain and other troubling symptoms as meeting the patients’ emotional, spiritual and practical needs. In short, this medical specialty aims to improve the quality of life however the patients define it for themselves.”