Travel date: May 18, 2017
Name of Meeting/Event/Activity: 15th European Association Palliative Care Conference
Origin: Nongkhai, Thailand / Destination: Madrid, Spain
I was delighted to be able to attend this conference. It helped me see how far Palliative Care has come and in what ways it continues to grow and the challenges it faces particularly in countries that are beginning to establish and develop palliative care services. This has parallels for the development of Palliative Care in Thailand where I work.
All the information and presentations from the posters to the keynote speakers and oral presentations helped to inspire me to continue working in palliative care. Hearing about challenges met and overcome such as the new Palliative Care initiative called the Lucy Project in Colombia presented by Emilio Herrera Molina which looks at the financing and provision of palliative care. This was a real inspiration and a solid piece of research about developing the connection between costs and the provision of palliative care that is essential for developing palliative care.
For me this was a big surprise to receive the membership award and everything went smoothly throughout the whole process from notification to attending the conference. The staff at IAHPC were available and knowledgeable about how the process ran and they were warm and friendly when I met them. The hard work they do and their professionalism shone through. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all particularly Genevieve Napier for all their help.
Providing palliative care in Thailand is a challenge but one that the palliative care team at Srinagarind Hospital in Khon Kaen have risen to. Under the leadership of Dr Srivieng Pairojkul they have established a consultative palliative care team at one of the largest tertiary referral hospitals in northeast Thailand. An ongoing education program for nurses and doctors, social workers and pharmacists has been developed and running for the last 5 years. However there is no certified course for palliative care under the ministry of health, there is the challenges of opioid prescribing in a culture of fear about the effects of opioids, and the need to expand palliative care from the hospital setting to the community. Many of the presentations covered some of these themes and for me they showed that the palliative care team in Thailand is not working in isolation but that all around the world palliative care has either met these challenges or are learning from others and trying to meet them in their own way. By relaying the essence of the presentations I attended to my colleagues I hope to inspire us all to continue to develop effective responses to the challenges we face.