Western Cape minister of health, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo opened the new Abundant Life Palliative Care Centre at Victoria Hospital in Wynberg on Friday 11 October.The service centre provides palliative care patients the opportunity to manage their possible life-threatening condition in an empowering and dignified manner.The centre started as an initiative 10 years ago, and was spearheaded by Dr Clint Cupido, specialist physician at Victoria Hospital. Natalie Watlington, spokesperson for the Western Cape’s department of health, says palliative care is a patient-centered approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the challenges associated with life-threatening and life-limiting illness. “Through an intentional process of quality assessment and treatment of the patient’s pain and other problems (physical, psychosocial and spiritual) palliative care seeks to prevent and reduce the suffering of each patient,” she says. Watlington explains this service is not always for patients who are dying. It extends to those with serious conditions, for example, renal failure, cancer or resistant tuberculosis (TB). “Palliative care supports the patient and the family by equipping them to manage their situation themselves without having to rush to the emergency care. It also means they have a good relationship with the treating physician and feel supported and empowered with the knowledge and skills to support their loved one,” she said.