Two hundred health and social care professionals from around the globe are set to attend the conference.
Jim Rhatigan, Chair of the Organising Committee, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming the delegates, as the conference will provide further insight about global practice in the field of the public health approach to palliative care, and the different approaches to educating communities and the public in issues about death, dying, care and loss.”
A public health approach to palliative care emphasises the role of the local community in supporting those living with life limiting illnesses at the end of life; their family and friends, and those experiencing loss. It recognises the social character of death, dying, loss and care.
Speaking at a pre-conference reception, Professor Don Barry, president of the University of Limerick, praised the “action-oriented” nature of the conference, citing the conference themes of: Engaging communities, Education and research in action, Models of care and practice, and Influencing policy.
Prof. Barry went on to commend the organisers for their inclusion of a ‘public day’ on the third day of the conference, saying that this demonstrated their commitment to engaging with society, especially on a topic that most people are reluctant to discuss.
This conference is the third in a series conceived to bring together those working in the field of public health and palliative care to learn from each other, share examples of good practice and to build international networks.
The first conference was jointly hosted by the Institute of Palliative Medicine, and the University of Bath. It was held in Calicut, Kerala, India, and the second was held in Dhaka, Bangladesh in January 2011, hosted by the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University.
The book: ‘International Perspectives on a Public Health Approach to Palliative Care’ was published as a collection of the papers presented at the first conference.