Greater than the sum of its parts – the 12th Asia Pacific Hospice Conference

Friday, 02 June 2017 Print

Joyce Chee, Executive of the Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network, writes about the upcoming APHC 2017

The Asia Pacific Hospice Conference is the biennial conference of the Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network (APHN). This year, we all be holding the 12th conference of the series in sunny Singapore from 26 to 29 July!

Since the 1990s, when palliative care services started developing in Asia and the Pacific, many of our colleagues in the region have been working in isolation.

Being pioneers pushing for a better quality of life for patients with life limiting illnesses in areas where palliative care is not high on the government’s agenda, struggling with limited resources and funding, lack of trained expertise and access to affordable pain medications, the journey has been tough and at times lonely.

There is only so much an individual can do, and at times the road ahead can seem quite arduous and daunting.

The conference not only provides an avenue for the community to receive updates on palliative care and learn from the experts, but it has also taken a role akin to a big family gathering for many to share our challenges, to support and encourage one another.

Together, from strength to strength, we can forge ahead to scale greater heights! 

Join the conference, hear from the experts, and collaborate to form new ideas! 

Do you know that when the first conference was held, the APHN has yet to even exist? The network was only formed in 2001, after the idea was birthed as a product of the conference!

We have lined up a programme that will challenge you to think further, explore novel ideas and bring them to fruition. See who we have invited as plenary speakers below!

  • Prof Martin Knapp – The Economics of Palliative Care in the Asia Pacific - A Matter of Sustainability
  • Prof Allan Kellehear – A public health approach to palliative care - Creating compassionate communities
  • Prof Betty Ferrell – Person Centred Care - Are we listening to our patients?
  • Prof Judith A Paice – Hot off the press: Updates on holistic pain management
  • Prof Ladislav Volicer –  Integrating the Needs of the Older Person at the End of Life - Whose responsibility is it?
  • Prof Phyllis Butow – Communicating about end of life issues: Spirituality, Prognosis and Advanced Care Planning
  • Prof Irene Higginson – Greater than the sum of its parts 
  • A/Prof Pang Weng Sun – All aboard! Engaging Bystanders to broaden the network of care 
  • Prof James Cleary – Threats to Opioid Availability: Implications to cancer pain management
  • Prof David Currow – Measuring what counts: Impact, Benchmarking and Policy.

Come and be inspired or inspire others. Join our family today!

I will also like to share with you some words from the organising committee about what really makes this conference one of its kind in the region. 

From Dr R Akhileswaran, Co-Chair of the Organising Committee: “APHC 2017 is unique for two reasons. Firstly, Singapore is hosting this conference exactly two decades after it hosted the first hospice and palliative conference for the Asia-Pacific region in 1996.

"Thus it affords us all this unique opportunity to witness the work done and progress made by the member organisations of the Singapore Hospice Council (SHC) during the last two decades.

"Secondly, we will be celebrating 50 years of the modern hospice and palliative care movement which began with the opening of St Christopher’s hospice back in 1967.”

From Associate Professor Cynthia Goh, Co-Chair of the Organising Committee: “In 1996 at the 2nd APHC, participants had so much fun, and valued the sharing of knowledge and experience so much that they vowed to meet again on a regular basis. They wanted to call it the Asia Pacific Hospice Families Conference, for they felt so much like one family. I hope at this 12th APHC 2017, we would feel once more the warmth and friendship of belonging to one hospice family.

“Patients and their families are the reason why we want to serve in the area of hospice palliative care. Many countries in our region have come a long way in building palliative care services and having them integrated into their healthcare systems, yet much work remains to be done in many countries of the Asia Pacific.

“The APHN is deeply involved in projects to build capacity in palliative care in the region, in education and in research. We hope that during this conference, there will be much sharing of ideas of different ways of doing things, learning about what is unique in each of our countries, and what we have in common. 

“The outcome will be better care for our patients, and encouragement for ourselves as we carry on this difficult but rewarding work.” 

Come and be part of our family! Sign up to register for the conference before the early bird deadline at the conference website Individual members of the APHN family get a discounted price too.

See you there! 

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