Maya Jane Bates is a family medicine specialist trained in the United Kingdom with more than 25 years of palliative care clinical practice, teaching, and research expertise developed in Southern Africa. She is an Honorary Senior Lecturer at Kamuzu University of Health Sciences (Blantyre, Malawi) and the University of Cape Town (South Africa), as well as an Honorary Lecturer at King’s College London (England). She also works to support local and global palliative care research initiatives at the International Observatory for End of Life Care at Lancaster University and the Global Health Academy at the University of Edinburgh.
Dr. Bates pioneered primary palliative care models of service delivery in Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Blantyre, Malawi, using a model that would later be scaled up nationally within other public health facilities. She has published widely from her background in clinical practice: in 2013 she authored a handbook, Inspiring Hope, as a palliative care guide for churches caring for patients and families with palliative care needs.
Her PhD at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, completed in 2021, involved mixed-methods research that focused on building a business case for palliative care in low- and middle-income countries, recognizing the “access abyss” for palliative care within Universal Health Coverage. [See: Palliative Care within Universal Health Coverage and Financial Protection — Does palliative care have the potential to reduce household poverty in a low-income country?: A mixed methods study in households affected by advanced cancer in Blantyre, Malawi.]
Dr. Bates is the founding Chair of the Palliative Care Support Trust in Malawi, and continued as Chair from 2002-2022: she now serves as Secretary. She has been a member of the Scientific Committee of the African Palliative Care Congress and is part of the World Health Organization’s Economics of Palliative Care Technical Working Group, as well as a primary care expert within the WHO’s Technical Advisory Group on Integrated Care (IG2).
In 2022, Dr. Bates was awarded the European Association for Palliative Care’s Early Career Researcher Award for those who have made an outstanding contribution to palliative care research and clinical practice. That same year, she addressed palliative care and poverty reduction in a YouTube video that describes her research study, which showed “catastrophic” out-of-pocket costs for 64% of households with a person diagnosed with advanced cancer.
Dr. Bates has been an IAHPC member since 2008, and joined the IAHPC Board in January 2023.
When not working, she enjoys reading, hiking, and spending time with family and friends.