The 2015 schedule of Palliative Care Events in the Asia Pacific region will be updated monthly on our website under the section “Events“. 



1st Member Discussion Forum on Paediatric Palliative Care

The discussion forum will be headed by our paediatric forum team. 

The team consists of 

Dr Joan Marston – CEO, International Children's Palliative Care Network
Dr Chong Poh Heng – STARPALS Programme Director, HCA Hospice Care (Singapore)
Dr Mary Ann Muckaden - Professor and Head, Dept of Palliative Medicine, Tata Memorial Centre (India)
Dr Martha Mherekumombe - Chief Palliative Care Physician at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney (Australia)
Dr Marianne Phillips - Senior Paediatric & Adolesent Oncologist and Palliative Care Specialist (Australia)
Dr Ross Drake - Starship Paediatric Palliative Care Team (New Zealand)

Join us in the discussion with our team and exchange knowledge about paediatric palliative care in your country! The discussion forum for members will be launched on 31 Jan 2015

If you are a current member of APHN, you will receive your username and password via email by 30 Jan 2015. Please look out for the email with the log in instructions!

Membership Satisfaction Survey
APHN would like to thank all members for taking time to give us feedback. We will review and publish the survey results in our January newsletter. If you have yet to fill in the survey form, kindly click here to fill it out. Your responses will help us to come up with new membership initiatives for 2015.

2014 Year in Review

Dear members and friends of APHN, 2014 has been an exciting year for us. Please join us as we update you on the changes in our organization, as well as the developments in our region in 2014.

The 14th APHN council was formed during our annual general meeting in Hong Kong. The current governing council members are:

Associate Professor Cynthia Goh Chairman Elected (Singapore)
Professor Tetsuo Kashiwagi Vice-Chairman Appointed (Japan)
Professor M R Rajagopal Vice-Chairman Co-opted (India)
Dr Ednin Hamzah Honorary Secretary Elected (Malaysia)
Dr Ghauri Aggarwal Assistant Honorary Secretary Co-opted (Australia)
Prof Patsy Yates Honorary Treasurer Co-opted (Australia)
Dr R Akhileswaran Assistant Honorary Treasurer Appointed (Singapore)
Prof Dae Seog Heo Member Appointed (Korea)
Dr Richard Lim Member Appointed (Malaysia)
Mr David O. Abel Member Appointed (Myanmar)
Ms Mary Schumacher Member Appointed (New Zealand)
Dr Karin E. Garcia Member Appointed (Philippines)
Associate Professor Ying-Wei Wang Member Appointed (Taiwan)
Associate Professor Srivieng Pairojkul Member Appointed (Thailand)
Dr Nguyen Phi Yen Member Appointed (Vietnam)
Dr Yvonne Luxford Member Elected (Australia)
Dr Annie Kwok Member Elected (Hong Kong)
Professor Satoru Tsuneto Member Elected (Japan)
Professor Hyun Sook Kim Member Elected (Korea)
Dr Wen-Hao Su Member Elected (Taiwan)

Ms Joyce Chee was appointed as the new APHN executive from August 2014.

Lien Collaborative for Palliative Care

Dates Country Activity
January 2014 Myanmar 2nd teaching programme
March 2014 Sri Lanka 1st teaching programme
July 2014 Myanmar 3rd teaching programme, including 2 talks to a larger audience
August 2014 Bangladesh 2nd teaching programme, including 1 talk to a larger audience and a syringe driver workshop
December 2014 Sri Lanka 2nd teaching programme

Updates from ehospice

1. The passing of the resolution: Strengthening palliative care as a component of comprehensive care across the life course by the World Health Assembly (WHA) signalled a new level of commitment by the World Health Organization (WHO) to improve palliative care worldwide.

This resolution, coupled with proper advocacy and thoughtful, focussed implementation efforts has the potential to pave the way for huge progress in palliative care in the future.

2. The International Children's Palliative Care Network (ICPCN)  held their first International Conference in Mumbai in February.

The network also collaborated with UNICEF to release a report on the need for children’s palliative care. The report estimates that in 2013, 6.3 million children under five died from mostly preventable causes, around 200,000 fewer than in 2012, but still equal to nearly 17,000 child deaths each day.

Updates from the region

Australia: National Palliative Care Standards Review

Hong Kong: International Conference on Grief and Bereavement in Contemporary Society to be held for the first time in Asia

India: Palliative care and critical care join hands to achieve excellence in end-of-life care

Indonesia: Palliative Care Training Announced for Jakarta

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

Malaysia: Paediatric palliative care forges ahead in Malaysia since royal visit in 2012

New Zealand: Increase in Māori patients accessing palliative care, despite barriers

Philippines: 1st public forum on palliative care held

Singapore: Health Minister pledges support for palliative care at Singapore conference

Thailand: Ministry of Health issues health policy to incorporate palliative care into mainstream healthcare system

Sri Lanka: Groundbreaking palliative care training collaborative expands to Sri Lanka

Bangladesh: Palliative care included in national plan for noncommunicable diseases


We would like to thank everyone who have contributed by joining us as a member, giving donations, writing articles, translating news updates and sharing about what we do with friends and colleagues.

As we move into 2015, we hope to encourage everyone to join our Asia Pacific Community, attend our Asia Pacific Hospice Conference and email our secretariat at to contribute news, events, workshops, ideas, or articles.

We wish a happy and fulfilling year ahead to all.

Written By Joyce Chee, Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network (APHN) Executive
Start of a journey… My 1st visit to a hospice…
Prior to visitation
I joined the secretariat of APHN three months ago. I was driven by a passion to work for a cause, but could not quite figure out how I could contribute in field. I wanted to see for myself what a hospice is like, and what people are doing on the ground. When I received a reply from Dover Park Hospice confirming my first visitation trip, I was like an excited rabbit and probably would have jumped around in my office if not for the fact that I was not alone.
The big day – 3 November 2014  
Ms Tan Wee King, the Head of Training Services at Dover Park Hospice was in charge of giving me the “hospice orientation 101”. She is a lady with a big smile on her face, brimming with radiance (you will never be able to guess her age). She shared many stories from her past experiences, and I was so absorbed by her presentation that I forgot the time. Oops!
Do you know…?
A history on Dover Park Hospice which she told me kept me thinking for days. I call this the “Do you know” story. Do you know that Dover Park Hospice was meant to be located at Dover Road and not Jalan Tan Tock Seng? It is logical to name a hospice by the location. However, the residents at that time protested against the building of a hospice near their residence. There is even a name for this “movement” called “NIMBY” or “Not in my backyard”.
This story highlights one of the many challenges like breaking the social stigma in the setting up of hospice services and creating awareness for palliative care or end-of-life discussions among the public. The story of hospice care in Singapore started in 1985, at St Joseph’s Nursing Home. We have come a long way since. However, much still needs to be done, even in a small country like Singapore. I wondered about the struggles faced by other countries where palliative care services are just starting…
Tour of the hospice
Following the presentation, I was brought on a tour around the hospice. Dover Park Hospice is the first and only custom built inpatient hospice in Singapore. The range of facilities and programmes offered are very comprehensive to ensure that patients will be able to live their last days peacefully and without pain.  I would like to thank Dover Park Hospice for allowing me to take photos (not of patients though) during the tour to share with everyone.


Located on the wall of a hallway were four posters on caregiver support for the patient’s family members through art therapy. There was also a free-to-draw canvas filled with drawings from a “Hearts & Craft” event sponsored by Deutsche Bank, where participants were encouraged to add their contributions and expressions.
I was also taken to stroll at the garden and the koi pond. The environment felt peaceful and quiet, away from the noisy sounds of the city. There was also a resting area for staff, visitors and volunteers to grab a cup of coffee and to relax after a tiring day.
There is also a “Quiet Room”, which contained religious paraphernalia of the major religions in Singapore for patients or family members to spend time alone to pray or to meditate. Determination of the amount of fees is done through a “means testing” system required by the Ministry of Health for the purpose of financing subsidy. Allocation to single rooms is based on needs to ensure that all patients get the optimal care that they need regardless of their financial background. 


Dover Park Hospice was the starting point for my journey in working with palliative care and hospice workers in the region. I came to understand the deep meaning of this field, and the comfort that it could provide for the patients and their family members. I realised that the process of life is important, so is the journey towards the end of life. Our patients, regardless if lived their life well, they deserve to finish well. The hospice and palliative care workers are there to walk this journey with the patients and their loved ones, and I will do my very best to support these warriors in any way I can.

Comments about the activities of APHN, or this issue are welcomed. We also encourage members to suggest topics, contributors, and specific ideas for future issues. Please contact the APHN Secretariat at 

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