Looking back at the integration and harmony of wisdom at APHC 2013

Categories: Care.

The 10th Asia Pacific Hospice Conference was truly a confluence of ideas, religious beliefs, and professional backgrounds.

The Thai Palliative Care Society, particularly formed to host this event, put together a stimulating scientific  programme, while at the same time attracting funding to boost palliative care in Thailand over the next three years.

An array of excellent oral presentations, workshops and posters sparked many fruitful discussions. Buddhist abbot, the Venerable Paisal Visalo, gave a plenary on acceptance of catastrophe, before speaking to the public at the ‘Before I die’ event in Central World shopping centre at the close of the first day of the conference.

The high quality of plenary presentations continued throughout the conference. Opening the second day with the Hinohara lecture, Judy Paice discussed how to assess and treat cancer pain in it’s many guises, followed by David Casarett who reminded the audience on the vital importance of building an evidence base for hospice and palliative care.

The conference organisers hosted a traditional Thai banquet on the second evening, with entertainment in the form of folk tales acted out by Thai puppeteers, as well as singing and dancing by volunteers from Cancer Care society, many of them cancer survivors themselves.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, Professor Cynthia Goh praised the scientific committee for organizing “an intellectual feast,” adding that the Thai hosts had complemented this with emotional and spiritual support. Prof Goh closed her speech, saying: “We look forward to meeting again in two years’ time and doing lots of good things together.”

The volunteer sector provided compelling evidence that this is not the work of a selected few but it is the responsibility of the whole community.

Dr Srivieng Pairojkul addressed the audience, telling them on behalf of the Thai Palliative Care Society: “We are proud and honoured to have hosted this significant conference.” She said: “It was your contributions and you being here among us that made this conference a success.”

At the end of the closing ceremony, the Taiwanese delegation took to the stage to invite listeners to the 11th Asia Pacific Hospice Conference to be held in Taipei in 2015. The Chairman of Taiwan Palliative Care Society Chien-Teh Lin gave a welcome message to the delegates, inviting them all to travel to Taipei to attend.

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