APHN hopes to hear your opinion and make your membership experience better.

Dear members, as the year is coming to an end, we would like to thank all of you for your continual support over the years. Please take a few minutes to tell us about the service you have received so far. Your responses will help us to improve the benefits provided for you in 2015.


Early bird registration deadline for APHC extended till 31 January 2015

APHC poster 1

11th Asia Pacific Hospice Conference, Taipei, Taiwan, 2015


Palliative care and international human rights law

181214The human rights approach to palliative care is about using advocacy – that is, speaking out from the patients’ points of view – to ensure that governments fulfil their obligations to these patients in terms of their right to palliative care.

Palliative care is part of the right to health as recognised by the United Nations. Under this right, Governments must ensure that their citizens have access to “preventative, curative and palliative health services” (CESCR, 2000). However, these rights are all too seldom realised.

On Human Rights Day, we examined the connection between palliative care and human rights. We also looked at the work that has been done by human rights experts and palliative care advocates to ensure that the human right to palliative care is fulfilled…read more

From ehospice

Palliative care and Universal Health Coverage: Do not leave those suffering behind

171214On the first ever Universal Health Coverage Day, the Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance, one of the founding global partners for the Day, has released a report on: ‘Palliative care and Universal Health Coverage: Do not leave those suffering behind’. The WHPCA supports the tag line of the day – health for all!

Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is defined as ensuring that all people can use the promotive, preventative, curative, rehabilitative and palliative health services they need, of sufficient quality to be effective, while ensuring that the use of these services does not expose the user to financial hardship.

The report highlights how palliative care is not often available and accessible to those who need it and in accessing palliative care households can be driven into financial hardship…read more

From ehospice

Hot Topics in Palliative Care: Sedation in Palliative Care – Indications and Guidelines

The video includes a lecture style presentation by A/Prof Jennifer Philip indications and guidelines around sedation in palliative care, followed by a multi-disciplinary discussion with the following panelists:

  • Dr Justin Dwyer, Psychiatrist in Psychosocial Cancer Care Team, St. Vincent’s Hospital
  • John Dalla, Palliative Care Nurse Coordinator at Alfred Health
  • Annette Cudmore, Palliative Care Nurse Consultant at Goulburn Valley Hospice Care Consultancy Service Inc
  • Dr David Brumley, Palliative Care Physician at Barwon Health and Lecturer at Deakin University

Three cases will be discussed after the presentation which are all fictitious and an amalgam of patient-clinician scenarios.

Click here to watch the video.

From Centre for Palliative Care

Pediatric Palliative Care: Using Miniature Chairs to Facilitate Communication

Chin, L. E., Loong, L. C., Ngen, C. C., Beng, T. S., Shireen, C., Kuan, W. S., & Shaw, R. (2014). Pediatric Palliative Care Using Miniature Chairs to Facilitate Communication. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, 1049909113509001.

Good communication is essential but sometimes challenging in pediatric palliative care. We describe 3 cases whereby miniature chairs made of various materials and colors were used successfully to encourage communication among pediatric patients, family, and health care professionals. This chair-inspired model may serve as a simple tool to facilitate complex discussions and to enable self-expression by children in the pediatric palliative care setting.

Australian researchers study clinical effects of palliative care medicines

091214Australian researchers continue to broaden the scope of their international study into the clinical effects of medications used in palliative care and hospices.

Professor of Palliative and Supportive Services at Adelaide’s Flinders University Professor David Currow and National Manager of the Palliative Care Clinical Studies Collaborative (PaCCSC), Linda Devilee head the research team.

The study is known as RAPID, reflecting its intent to gather a broad range of data from different patients over a relatively short time and publish the results quickly to benefit the palliative care community. The program asks different organisations to supply a small amount of data from a select number of patients to allow for a relatively quick turnaround…read more

From ehospice

Korea: New policy for hospice/palliative care payment system imminent

Lee Jae-young (Chief, Dept of Health Policy) from the Ministry of Welfare revealed new plans for Hospice and Palliative care payment systems in a “Future of National Policies for Hospice and Palliative care” parliament meeting (hosted by Senators Moon Jung-Rim and Kang Kil-bu) held on 18 November 2014. This new policy is expected to be revealed within the end of this year.

Currently in South Korea, Hospice and Palliative care services are limited to cancer patients. In 2013, only 12% (9,573 out of the 70,534) of patients who deceased from cancer utilized Hospice and Palliative care services prior to death. Experts agreed that there is a significant lack of payment scheme for these services that work as a roadblock to expanding more Hospice and Palliative care facilities.

APHN would like to thank our member, Professor Hyun Sook Kim from the Department of Social Welfare, Korea National University of Transportation for sharing this update with us.

Australia: Getting paediatric experience with PEPA

051214Clinicians from around Queensland were recently involved in a placement with the Paediatric Palliative Care Service in Brisbane under the Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach (PEPA) initiative.

Four PEPA participants took part in five day supervised clinical placements encompassing the paediatric palliative care course and the Centre for Palliative Care Research and Education’s research conference. Participants included Bundaberg junior doctor Halima Goss, Cairns Hospital registered nurse Trudi Jobling and senior social worker Jodi Sariman, and Julie Heath a registered nurse from Logan Hospital.

PEPA Queensland Manager Aurora Hodges says that specialists at the host site mentored participants with the goal of incorporating the palliative approach to care in their workplace as well as encouraging stronger linkages with specialist services.She said participants could observe the multidisciplinary approach to palliative care through ward rounds, case conferences, team and family meetings, home visits and in-service sessions…read more

Through the PPCS, PEPA has been able to provide a unique learning experience for Queensland regional paediatric clinicians. Aurora Hodges says, “If you are a clinician working with children and interested in palliative care, I recommend you apply for a PEPA placement with the Paediatric Palliative Care Service.”

PEPA, which is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health, also provides placements for clinicians working with adults with life-limiting illnesses.

From ehospice

Palliative care and HIV: Let’s close the gap to end AIDS, but don’t ignore the reality of people’s experience now

“I remind those reading ehospice, that while the political and funding agenda may be shifting away from the HIV response, millions of people continue to live with, and die from, HIV related conditions.” – Claire Morris, Global Advocacy Director, Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance

The current rhetoric around the AIDS response is that we need to close the gap to end AIDS.The message is simple: “don’t stop now”.

In 2013, there were 2.1 million people who became infected with HIV, 240,000 of these were children; 1.5 million people died from HIV related causes. All of these figures have significantly decreased from 2005.

Yet, the reality is that globally only 37% of people get anti-retroviral treatment (ART) and 76% of children living with HIV do not get the HIV treatment that they need.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance’s (WHPCA) Global Atlas on Palliative Care at the End of Life estimated that over one million people could benefit from palliative care at the end of life each year, but many more require palliative care through the course of the condition…read more

We encourage you all to watch the short film above, ‘Jethro’s story in Kenya’ by Human Rights Watch.

From ehospice

Morphine is medicine: the language barrier to opioid availability in more than 83% of the world

031214Katherine Irene Pettus, Advocacy Officer, International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHPC),advises ehospice readers on the important distinction between ‘medicines’ and ‘drugs’.

The 1998 UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs adopted: “A drug-free world; we can do it!” as its slogan. The Commision on Narcotic Drugs (CND) has set an explicit policy goal of reducing global demand and supply of ‘drugs’.

This leaves a very narrow policy space for palliative care advocates to promote increased supply and demand of medical opioids unless we specifically, consistently (and correctly) refer to them as ‘essential medicines’…read more

Sign the Morphine Manifesto!

From ehospice

Japan: Caring for the emotional and spiritual needs of terminally ill patients

021214An article in The Japan Times highlights some of the ways in which hospice and palliative care patients’ emotional and spiritual needs are catered for.

The article described how Jito Sasaki, a Buddhist nun, visits a hospital in Tokyo several days each month as a volunteer, talking to patients and playing the ocarina (an ancient wind instrument) to “help remind patients of the precious time they’ve spent with their families…read more

From ehospice

Challenging the misunderstanding of palliative care

271114Written by APHN member Dr Luzviminda S. Kwong

A palliative care expert and advocate in the Philippines has written a thoughtful article challenging the misunderstanding of palliative care among the public and medical professionals. This is a good resource for anyone to draw on to help explain palliative care to colleagues or decision makers.

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…read more

From ehospice