Palliative Care is about making connections. The connection between a person affected by a life-limiting illness and a palliative care practitioner that facilitates healing.
20 years ago, the Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network was formed, through the inspiration of Dr Shigeaki Hinohara from Japan. Bringing together leaders and pioneers from the various parts of the Asia Pacific, his shared vision was put in place. Individuals and services from 14 founding sectors were connected through a common purpose of improving the quality of life of those that require palliative care.
The Asia Pacific has the greatest number of people that require access to palliative care. Palliative Care was introduced at varying stages in the region and although countries such as Singapore and Australia have largely integrated it into their health systems, there are others where it has barely gained a toe hold. We have great challenges but we also have solutions.
Throughout the formative period of the growth of APHN, the greatest demand has been for education and training. Much of our activities are geared to this such as our Flinders Palliative Care Certificate / APHN Diploma programme, various teaching visits, and our Lien Collaborative programme since 2013.
Our Asia Pacific Palliative Care conferences, held biennially are celebrations of our work but also serve as an occasion for the renewal of friendships and togetherness that binds all of us in the region. Many that attend our conferences are struck by the sheer vibrancy and energy that illuminates our meetings and hopefully, we are able to renew this zest in Incheon, South Korea in 2023.
Since Covid 19 struck our region and the world, we have connected through regular webinars, sharing stories that shared concerns and solutions to our shared challenges despite our inability to travel. Our website, social media, and newsletters have become a source of information and connection.
Today, we are joining the eHospice family with an Asia Pacific edition. This enhances our ability to share our stories and our work not just within the region to also allow a global audience to view our efforts in palliative care. Through this, we hope that others will join us as part of the APHN family.
– Dr Ednin Hamzah (Chair, APHN)