Second national palliative care conference held at Khon Kaen University, Thailand

Categories: Research.

The conference’s theme was ‘Who cares? We do!’ echoing the global theme of this year’s World Hospice and Palliative Care Day.

Supported by the Thai Palliative Care Society (THAPS) and the National Health Security Office (NHSO), the event emphasised further increasing palliative care awareness in Thailand and how to integrate palliative care into primary care health service. 

Topics varied from the current national situation, symptom management, distance learning, medical law and ethics and palliative home care service among others.

Apart from the main event, there were also poster presentations and exhibitions. ‘The talking death’, hosted by the Buddhika foundation, aimed to raise death awareness in a friendlier and simpler way for the general population. 

Another exhibition called ‘Healing the healers’, also supported by THAPS, was a tacit knowledge management panel between healthcare providers and volunteers who work in this field.

On the last day of the conference, Associate Professor Dr Srivieng Pairojkul, president of THAPS, held the annual general meeting and presented the organisation’s annual report.

She said: “With the latest announcement that makes palliative care one of the next national health policies from the Thai Minister of Public Health, Professor Rachata Rajatanavin, palliative care service in Thailand would soon take a huger leap than ever before. 

“The goal of the policy is to strengthen health care services for older people and end of life palliative care to improve quality of life of patients, with an emphasis on community and family cares. 

“We hope that there will be at least one palliative care nurse in every secondary hospital by December 2014. After that, the service aims to extend to the first 300 primary care hospitals all over the country by September 2015.”

To support the policies, THAPS will take a big step to help hospitals establish palliative care programs in their establishments as well as training the nurses who will act as coordinators.

Furthermore, THAPS’ next step is to establsh training centers in each region of Thailand. There would be short and long-term courses, training healthcare professionals, volunteers, and carers, creating healthcare alliances throughout the country.

Opioid availability workshops will also be organised to tackle with current opioid access challenge in some areas.

With the big announcement and support from the Minister of Public Health, palliative care in Thailand may drastically change in the upcoming years.

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