Travel date: July 27, 2017
Name of Meeting/Event/Activity: Asia Pacific Hospice Conference
Origin: New Delhi, India / Destination: Suntec City, Singapore
The APHC conference provided an opportunity to update myself about advances in the field of palliative care, how access to palliative care is developing globally, to assess the integration of palliative care across healthcare systems and ultimately to affirm, change and develop a multi-professional practice. The patient flows at palliative care clinics vary across nations. This conference was a unique opportunity provided to me to demonstrate research achievements and cross-cultural differences at international level.
I realized that in India, there a lot more in the field of palliative care which can be actively taken up by young people like me. Despite the fact that the concept of hospice initially originated from India during the era of King Ashoka, yet we have limited hospices in our country. The visit to Assisi hospice was quite helpful. I was well-informed about the services and care provided to terminally ill cancer and non-cancer patients of all age groups. This guidance will help in evolving hospices in my country which can deliver good quality services. In addition, during the conference, interaction with visionary leaders in this field helped me acquire professional qualities, skills and attributes required for the effective palliative care.
IAHPC is already doing a great job in helping scholars from developing countries. I would wish to know if it provides travel grant to attend short term palliative care courses also.
I consider myself too fortunate to attend my first international palliative care conference i.e. APHC 2017 with the support of IAHPC. With my poster titled “Barriers to Recruitment of Cancer Pain Patients in an Observational Study at a Tertiary Care Hospital”; I highlighted the need for creating awareness amongst both physicians and patients to participate in palliative care research. I could interact with new people from different parts of the world and got a chance to discuss even career and research opportunities with them. All activities-attending plenary/concurrent sessions, discussing poster presentations and visiting Assisi hospice were informative, interesting and inspiring. Providing palliative care in India is challenging, but under the guidance of Dr. Sushma Bhatnagar, these have been well addressed in our setting. Challenges like opioid availability/accessibility, reluctance to prescribe opioids, lack of awareness of palliative care, end of life care etc. exist in most parts of India. Conversations, sharing experiences with faculty and delegates was quite motivating and encourages me to advance palliative care towards excellence in other parts of my country.