Standards & Quality of Care Indicators in Palliative Care Symposium

“In 2014, the World Health Assembly passed a resolution to strengthen palliative care as a component of a country’s health care system. The Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance (WHPCA) / WHO Atlas in Palliative Care 2014, maps out national development in palliative care. In each country, patients, healthcare workers, governments, donors and other stakeholders are starting to enquire about standards of care and what indicators could be used to compare palliative care services.”

This meeting organised by Hospis Malaysia and in collaboration with the WHPCA, brings representatives from several regional and national palliative care organisations to discuss the various approaches taken to address the above topic.

Find out more on

For further information, please contact Wai Mun at +61-03-9133 3936 (ext: 267) or email

LCPC Palliative Care Course for Social Workers

SHC-LCPC Forum June 2017 – Managing Challenging Patient Behaviours in End-of-Life Care

Bid for 14th Asia Pacific Hospice Conference 2021 Opens!

The APHN Council is pleased to invite member organisations wishing to host the 14th Asia Pacific Hospice Conference 2021 to send in their application to the APHN Secretariat.  The closing date for submission of the bid form is 30 June 2017.

Click here to download the bid form and the bidding documents.

Please email the bid documents to

Please note to send your file as “Bid for 14th APHC_<your organisation name>”

All organisations submitting a bid must fulfill the following requirements for their application to be considered.

  • Have been a member of APHN for AT LEAST 3 years
  • All bids must be complete in writing

Free Accommodation for APHC 2017 Delegates

St Joseph’s Home Opens its Doors


For almost 40 years, St Joseph’s Home has been caring for the aged and destitute in Singapore regardless of race or religion. The home has recently moved in to a brand new 412-bed facility in Jurong West (western Singapore).  Its residents are provided with person-centred care through a range of holistic services including nursing and hospice care, psychosocial support, and therapy such as music and art

Catholic Welfare Services Singapore is generously offering free accommodation for up to 32 persons attending the Asia Pacific Hospice Conference (APHC 2017).

What is being offered

  • Same sex, dormitory style accommodation with shared facilities
  • Daily breakfast
  • Daily transport to and from conference venue during 27-29 July
  • Earliest check in date: 25 July 2017
  • Latest check out date: 30 July 2017
  • Priority will be given to Nurses and Allied Healthcare workers, as well as persons who are unable to obtain other sponsorship.

To qualify, you should be

  • from a low/middle income country, and
  • a member of the Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network (APHN).

(Annual membership starts from USD10, and entitles members to a SGD75 [about USD50] discount on the APHC 2017 registration fees). Click here to Join the APHN

To apply

Apply by 14 May 2017.

Shortlisted persons will be informed by 19 May 2017.

If awarded the free accommodation, you will need to register for the conference by 25 May 2017 (you will be allowed early bird registration rate). Otherwise, your place will be offered to another delegate.

Click here to apply

Enquires may be sent to

Rosalie Shaw APHC 2017 Bursary

Rosalie Shaw APHC 2017 Bursary

The Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network (APHN) is inviting applications for the Rosalie Shaw APHC 2017 Bursary for delegates attending the 12th Asia Pacific Hospice Conference in 2017. This bursary is named after former APHN Executive Director, Dr Rosalie Shaw, to help delegates from low/middle income countries attend the conference.

What is being offered

  • 20 bursaries are available
  • The amount of each bursary is SGD500
  • Priority will be given to Nurses and Allied Health workers, as well as persons who are unable to obtain other sponsorship.

To qualify, you should be

  • from a low/middle income country, and
  • a member of the Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network (APHN).

(Annual membership starts from USD10, and entitles members to a SGD75 [about USD50] discount on the APHC 2017 registration fees). Click here to Join the APHN

To apply

Apply by 14 May 2017.

Shortlisted persons will be informed by 19 May 2017.

If awarded the bursary, you will need to register for the conference by 25 May 2017 (you will be allowed the early bird registration rate). Otherwise, the bursary will be offered to another delegate.

Click here to apply

Enquires may be sent to

The solution to cutting the cost of aged care

This article was from PCAeNews.

The compassionate communities approach that started in Australia was touted by palliative care expert Dr Julian Abel. This model of care is not just for the palliative patients, it can also help people with chronic illnesses and others who need extra support and care. The approach aims to engage everybody to help out in one way or another, to foster stronger, healthier communities. It has helped reduce hospital admissions by 30% in south-west England and can reduce 5-6% in total healthcare costs if implemented across UK, according to Dr Abel.

The compassionate communities model in Canberra takes it further, by getting support networks initiated. Palliative Care Australia CEO, Ms Liz Callaghan mentioned that “the infrastructure around the primary health networks is a really good place to start” as the GPs will be able to identify vulnerable populations that they can help to network.

Read the full article here.

Vicky Toh Cancer Research Fellowship

logosVicky Toh Cancer Research Fellowship

The fellowship provides overseas oncologists, including Palliative Medicine doctors, from ASEAN countries an excellent opportunity to come to NCCS for up to 12 months to learn and gain extensive clinical and research knowledge and skills.

The award covers a monthly stipend of S$3,000, capped at S$36,000 per annum, as well as a one-time S$2,000 conference travel support during the fellowship training.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicants should come from the following ASEAN countries
    • Cambodia
    • Indonesia
    • Laos
    • Myanmar
    • Philippines
    • Thailand
    • Vietnam
  • Postgraduate Medical Qualification
  • Minimum 2 years of postgraduate training experience in relevant specialty (after obtaining postgraduate medical qualification)
  • Proficient in English
  • A Trainee in an oncology unit or a practicing oncologist. Those who specialises in Palliative Medicine are also eligible to apply.

Application Process

  • As part of the application process, applicants are required to submit a proposed training plan based on his/her clinical training need(s) and a research project which he/she is keen to undertake during the fellowship training.
  • There will be a review and selection process for the applications. Following the selection process, the selected applicants will then be matched to the relevant Clinical Division.

Call for Applications

  • 29 May 2017 – 30 June 2017

For more information, please contact

Oncology Academic Clinical Programme

Ms Cathy Tan: +65-6435-3027;

Ms Germaine Bravenboer: +65-6435-3034;

Barry Ashpole Media Watch #498

Barry Ashpole Media Watch

The latest issue of Media Watch, compiled and annotated by Barry R. Ashpole (Ontario, Canada) can now be downloaded here. More reports can be found at IPCRC.NET

Articles from Asia Pacific regions:

Branding palliative care units by avoiding the terms “palliative” and “hospice”: A nationwide study in Taiwan

INQUIRY: THE JOURNAL OF HEALTH CARE ORGANIZATION, PROVISION & FINANCING | Online – 24 January 2017 – The term “palliative care” has a negative connotation and may act as a barrier to early patient referrals. Rebranding has thus been proposed as a strategy to reduce the negative perceptions associated with palliative care. In this study, the authors found that words reflecting the themes of “kindness and love”, “peace” and “religion” were frequently used. This finding suggests the hypothesis that less stigmatising names were used to generate more positive impressions, higher perceived need, and more referrals.

End-of-life care and opioid use in India: Challenges and opportunities

JOURNAL OF GLOBAL ONCOLOGY | Online – 25 January 2017 – Ease of access to opioid pain medications is an integral component of palliative care service. In India, poppy plants are grown only in three states, under strict government licensing, with only two factories processing them into morphine sulfate powder. Awareness of opioid medications increased during the early 1980s, which in turn increased morphine use, raising concerns regarding diversion of the medication. Balancing these virtues and vices in a cost-effective setting, within this multicultural society is a gargantuan task that the Indian government and palliative care community has currently undertaken. The palliative care community is optimistic about the new NDPS amendment, which may help make pain relief accessible to millions.

Specialist Publications:

Promoting end-of-life discussions in advanced cancer: Effects of patient coaching and question prompt lists

JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ONCOLOGY | Online – 30 January 2017 – Most patients with advanced cancer say they want honest, sensitive communication about end-of-life issues. These conversations help patients and their families prepare, make informed decisions, and avoid potentially burdensome aggressive medical treatments near death. Yet, patients are often misinformed about cancer survival and curability, and those with over-optimistic prognosis estimates are more likely to die in a hospital and receive burdensome aggressive care. Patients often do not disclose their concerns and vary in the amount of information they want about the disease, prognosis, and treatment options, whereas physicians often do not know or enact patient preferences about end-of-life issues. . Interventions to promote communication in cancer settings have targeted patients and physicians. Randomized controlled trials in early cancer and palliative care have shown that question prompt lists (QPLs) – structured lists of questions given to patients before consultations – help patients with cancer and their caregivers ask more questions, particularly if the physician also encourages and endorses the QPL. In addition, a tailored pre-visit educational coaching intervention (that did not involve QPLs) helped patients with cancer communicate concerns about pain.

A matter of life and death: Knowledge about the body and concept of death in adults with intellectual disabilities

JOURNAL OF INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY RESEARCH, 2017;61(1):89-98. An increased awareness of how people with intellectual disabilities (ID) understand death and dying is necessary in supporting life-long learning, post-bereavement support and planning end-of-life care. However, the assumption that adults with ID have no concept of death and therefore are unable to grieve, has been discredited, and it is now widely accepted that an incomplete understanding of death is not necessarily a barrier to experience grief. The analysis of participants’ responses shows that those individuals who are able to reason about the human body were more likely to achieve significantly higher concepts of death scores. Clearly, there is a need for focused interventions aimed at developing further this embryonic biological understanding.

Funding models in palliative care: Lessons from international experience

PALLIATIVE MEDICINE | Online – 3 February 2017 – Funding models influence provision and development of palliative care services. As palliative care integrates into mainstream health care provision, opportunities to develop funding mechanisms arise. Variation in the palliative care services exists not only in the type and content of services provided but also in the ways that palliative care services are funded. One of the implications of variability in funding mechanisms is the ability to conduct large-scale health economics research on palliative care is dependent on having a clear signal of palliative care provision in the administrative data generated, and the strength of the data signal is driven by the funding model.

APHN-Hospis Malaysia Palliative Care Workshop: Communication Skills

APHN-Hospis Malaysia Workshop

Workshop on Communication Skills (06-07 May 2017)

Effective communication is absolutely necessary in imparting ‘bad’ news, dealing with issues of treatment, psychological ‘taboo’ topics, spiritual and existential concerns which can be very challenging and must be managed appropriately. In fact, good communication is inherent in connecting with patients and their care givers. The facilitators of this workshop are Dr Rebecca Coles-Gale, Clinical Health Psychologist at the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, UK and Dr Sylvia McCarthy, Medical Director of Hospis Malaysia.

For further information, please contact Wai Mun at +61-03-9133 3936 (ext: 267) or email

Palliative care is about living, not dying, says expert

This article was  from eHospice.

Palliative care is about living, compassion, dignity and person-centered care, said palliative care physician Dr Jose Pereira. If the “p-word” is introduced only when physicians have given up on attempts to cure or control the disease, the anxiety will only increase. He further pointed out that palliative care and treatment to cure and control go hand in hand as the principles of palliative care can be applied while treatments are underway. In studies where palliative care techniques that are patient-centred are employed, patients have lived almost three months longer with a much better quality of  life, said Pereira.

Palliative care is also often restricted to places such as palliative care units with specialised palliative care physicians and nurses, a model which guarantees limited access. Instead, Pereira added, every cardiologist, oncologist, kidney specialist and family doctor needs to start incorporating palliative care techniques into their treatment. He noted that Canada’s expertise in palliative is among the best in the world, but only 30% of Canadians have access to it.

Read the full article here.

Walking and talking helps bereaved to process grief

This article was originally from Palliative Matters.

For people grieving the loss of a loved one, a simple program that enables them to walk and talk with trained volunteers is making a difference. Ms Sandy Muir, support officer (grief and loss) with Hospice Volunteers South Tasmania, said about 12 volunteers are trained to conduct the fortnightly walks and up to four generally attend. Over time, participants build trust and connections both with volunteers and fellow walkers, enabling them to share personal experiences. Since the program started in 2006, nearly 100 bereaved people have walked regularly with the group. It has helped some of them to find new friends and be supported by people in similar circumstances. Ms Muir said being out in the fresh open air makes it a relaxed environment for people to chat about feelings and experiences. She believes doing something physical suits some people who may be less inclined to open up when sitting face to face.

Read the full article here.