Singapore’s Minister for Health promises greater investment in palliative care

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At the recent Singapore Palliative Care Congress held at Singapore Polytehnic Convention Centre on 28 June Mr Gan Kim Yong, Singapore’s Minister for Health, promises that his ministry will invest in developing palliative care services in that country in four main areas, these being:

  • Raising the quality of palliative care
  • Enhancing accessibility of palliative care
  • Ensuring the affordability of palliative care
  • Public education

Mr Yong told delegates that the Ministry of Health (MOH) would invest in expanding capacity in residential, home and hospital based services, would implement measures to make access to palliative care more affordable and would promote public awareness of palliative care and end-of-life issues.

Draft Guidelines for Palliative care have already been developed which would be finalised after due consultation with the palliative care sector and relevant healthcare professionals. Mr Yong also announced the launch of a Graduate Diploma in Palliative Medicine which would be offered by the Chapter of Palliative Medicine Physicians and the Division of Graduate Medical Studies at the National University of Singapore (NUS). The inaugural
year-long diploma course will begin in July this year with the first cohort of doctors already enrolled for the course coming from a variety of settings.

ICPCN’s Chief Executive, Joan Marston, who attended the conference as a plenary speaker on the WHO Guidelines for Persisting Pain in Children, remarked that the conference was of a very high standard which included workshops and presentations on palliative care for children. One workshop in particular was led by Dr Chong Poh Heng and focused on the case study of a young boy who had died from a brain tumour. His parents, a nurse and a medical social worker shared the moving story of caring for this young patient with delegates. 

Joan also presented a pre-conference workshop on children’s palliative care at the Tan Tock Seng Hospital to a mixed group of 26 doctors, paediatricians, palliative care physicians, nurses, social workers and pastoral care workers. The programme for the day included an introduction to children’s palliative care, communication, pain assessment, pain management and end-of-life care.   in SIngapore.

“I am very excited to see the development of children’s palliative care in Singapore, and Poh Heng’s dedicated leadership,” she added.

You can read the full transcript of the Minister’s speech here

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