Grantee details

Traveling Scholars Program Report

Tharin Phenwan, MD

Travel date: July 27, 2017

Name of Meeting/Event/Activity: Asia Pacific Hospice Conference

Origin: Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand / Destination: Suntec City, Singapore

How was this meeting/activity helpful to you?

APHC is one of the most enriching conferences for the Asia-Pacific region. Speakers from various parts of the world joined this event, and I get to update my knowledge from the best. The research session was very thought-provoking, especially how lacking in evidence we are in many aspects such as prospective data, non-cancer group, or minority group. Fortunately, it showed great potential for the future research in palliative care. Apart from that, I also have a great opportunity to do a site-visit at Dover Park Hospice and have a great look of a comprehensive and passionate hospice, and I hope to apply what I saw there to my place as well.

How will you new knowledge & acquired skills help in furthering your work in hospice and palliative care in your program/city/ or country?

Walailak University was granted the financial support for the hospice project from the government. As the project manager, it is my obligation to use what I have learnt to draw a strategy and future plans for this place. Apart from the financial support, human resources are also crucial for a sustainable and fruitful palliative care service. That’s why I shared what I have learnt with my team, improving our knowledge and care.

How IAHPC Traveling Scholars Program be improved in order to help other future traveling scholars?

None. Words could not express how grateful I am for this opportunity.

Narrative summary highlighting the needs and challanges you face

Palliative care in Thailand was implemented as one of the national policies since 2014. Healthcare providers are now more aware of the concept of palliative care, and the service has been spreading throughout the country. Still, several challenges remain. In my opinion, the most important issue we are facing right now is the gap of knowledge in palliative care providers especially symptoms control. From my experience as a lecturer, several places have difficulties controlling their patients’ pain, the most fundamental symptom in palliative care. This was mainly due to the lack of knowledge of the team, an issue that we try to solve as fast as possible. Another contributing factor is opioid access and restriction. We also lack trainers who could teach the fundamental concepts of palliative care for others. Research is also limited, focusing on spiritual issues and hospital-based care. To overcome these barriers, I have two strategies. 1) As a lecturer, I will continue teaching palliative care for the medical students and healthcare providers to reduce those gaps of knowledge. 2) For my role as a vice director of a research centre, we will focus on producing more research, especially from the non-hospital aspect, coinciding with the Hospice Project in our university.