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​Palliative and End-Of-Life Care emphasised at SHBC 2017

Published on: 12-Oct-2017

Recognising the growing need for palliative and end-of-life care for non-cancer patients in Singapore, a new tripartite partnership was signed into existence at this year's Singapore Health & Biomedical Congress (SHBC) at the Max Atria, Singapore Expo.

Aimed to deepen expertise in end-of-life care and further research, the Palliative Care Centre for Excellence in Research and Education (PalC) is a partnership between LKCMedicine, National Healthcare Group (NHG) and Dover Park Hospice (DPH).

SHBC Guest-of-Honour Minister for Health Mr Gan Kim Yong highlighted the important role PalC will fulfil given Singapore's rapidly ageing population.

He said, "The subject of death has always been a sensitive topic to discuss with terminally-ill patients and their family members, hence there is a need to encourage more dialogue about end-of-life matters. Hopefully with training, healthcare professionals and volunteers will be better enabled to support families and their loved ones who wish to spend their last days at home."

He added, "The tripartite collaboration will marry the delicate skill of caring for those in their final days with research and evidence-based practice."

Mr Gan witnessed the ceremonial signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), by NTU Research Strategy & Coordination Unit Research Director Professor Timothy White representing NTU and LKCMedicine, Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) CEO Professor Eugene Soh representing NHG, and DPH CEO Mr Timothy Liu. The MOU is the culmination of eight years' efforts between the three institutions which already share many ties.

PalC will concentrate on innovative and transformative research to deliver quality palliative care, and develop training and educational programmes to equip healthcare professionals with the skills to help patients live their final moments with dignity.

During the opening ceremony, the SHBC 2017 Scientific Competition Prizes were also handed out. Among the winners was Dr Madhavi Latha Somaraju from the lab of Assistant Professor of Immunology & Cell Biology Navin Verma; she received the Gold Singapore Young Scientist – Basic Science/Translational Research Award for her work on immunogenicity and toxicity assessment of novel tetrabranched antimicrobial peptides. LKCMedicine Year 4 student Byorn Tan won the Gold-level SHBC Student Award (Open Category) for his work on TRVP5's role in ischemic stroke.

The two-and-a-half-day conference themed "Transforming Our Health Ecosystem" features speakers from across the world.

LKCMedicine Professor of Family Medicine and Primary Care Helen Smith was among the many speakers who took to the stage on the first day. Prof Smith's lecture on "Community-Based Alternatives to Hospital Care from a UK Perspective" received a warm welcome from the audience. Among those speaking on Day 2 is Assistant Dean for Integrated Care Associate Professor Chin Jing Jih who will deliver a session titled "What is the art of healthcare?".

​LKCMedicine was invited to set up a booth at the SHBC, drawing a steady stream of attendees interested to find out more about the School, its many research and scholarly projects. The three-day conference continues tomorrow with the third day to be held at LKCMedicine's Clinical Sciences Building at the Novena campus.


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