Conference Report: 14th APHC 2021

Our biennial Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Conference was slated to take place in Kobe, Japan this year. However, due to the global pandemic, the conference adopted a virtual format for the first time ever instead of the in-person equivalent on 13-14 November 2021.

The conference theme this year was Building Bridges, Hospice Palliative Care Beyond Borders and it highlights the importance of developing our services to overcome barriers, communicate well together and implement scientific rigor to what we do in Palliative Care, by all.

Jointly organised by Hospice Palliative Care Japan (HPCJ) and the Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network (APHN), the conference brought together 764 participants from 25 different regions around the world!

Despite the circumstances, the Conference Organising Committee put together a jam-packed programme featuring many distinguished speakers in the field of palliative care. Each session focused on an important theme (e.g. Palliative care in the COVID-19 era etc.) and encompassed three to four presentations. Participants of the conference were given the opportunity to pose questions for the speakers to answer after each session.

We were honoured to have Dr Rosalie Shaw present her lecture at the Hinohara Memorial Lecture. (Dr Shaw was hospitalised and unable to join in the live session, hence, she kindly pre-recorded her lecture for the session) The Hinohara Memorial Lecture honours Dr Shigeaki Hinohara, patron and benefactor of APHN until his death in 2017.

It was heartening to see the different areas of progress in palliative care around the world. Especially with the ongoing pandemic, palliative care has been brought to the forefront and more people now understand and appreciate the importance of palliative care. Different regions have faced their own challenges but have worked tirelessly to make palliative care more accessible for those in need. For example, Dr Shahinur Kabir from Hospice Bangladesh, delivered a presentation on “Tele-Hospice for palliative patient-effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of home palliative care services with chronic illness and their caregivers”. The service offers medical Tele Consultation between doctor and patient with a call or video chat, real-time communication with qualified and fully registered Doctors anytime, anywhere and so much more.

The conference concluded with a Special Lecture: Reflection on the APHN development by Assoc Prof Cynthia Goh.

The 14th Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Conference was a true success and we owe this achievement to all involved!

Thank you to all the participants who have joined us from around the world! Although we were not able to meet in person this year, we are incredibly grateful for your presence and support.
We would also like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt gratitude to all the speakers and chairs for preparing such illuminating sessions across both days of the conference!

It is our fervent hope that we will be able to meet all of you in person at the next APHC. Take care, stay safe and see you in Incheon, Korea in 2023!


On-demand streaming for the entire conference will be available for all participants to access until 31 December 2021. Log in to your account here and stream away!

Written by: Ms Trudy Giam (APHN Executive)