Lien Centre For Palliative Care
WHAT DOES PALLIATIVE MEAN?
The Latin equivalent, palliare, means to cloak. So the idea of palliative care is to ‘hide’ or lessen the disease symptoms, as opposed to treating the disease. Palliative treatments include alleviating the side effects of curative treatments, such as mitigating the nausea associated with chemotherapy. In other words, palliative care is a holistic way of relieving suffering, enhancing the quality of life for those with life-limiting illness by meeting their physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
SO WHAT EXACTLY DO WE SEEK TO ACHIEVE?
Good research informs everyone, enhances care delivery, and aids policymakers. The first of its kind in Asia, the Lien Centre for Palliative Care (LCPC) serves as a research and training centre, filling the gap for formal research about dying and end-of-life care. It also strives to enhance excellence in palliative care by training key people in the industry through various programmes around the region.
The collaboration broadens the base of trained expertise in palliative care and research, in order to raise awareness of the cultural differences in attitudes and beliefs towards dying, and pinpoint issues of concern within the local communities. These efforts will inform healthcare policy-making and medical practice in tandem with the Singapore government’s efforts to improve end-of-life care.
In 2010, following from the Quality of Death study, the Ministry of Health commissioned the Centre to a national palliative care services strategy for eventual incorporation into a larger national end-of-life strategy that would involve other government agencies, civic societies, and other bodies. The recommendations were subsequently accepted by the Ministry 2012.
GOING FORWARD, WHAT IS NEXT FOR THE CENTRE?
The National Strategy paved the way for the Centre to embark on a series of activities targeted at realising and implementing the Strategy blueprint.
To this end, we renewed our commitments to the centre for five more years from 2014. To fulfill its mission to be LCPC the premier palliative care centre in Asia, the Centre was restructured to increase its collaboations with the Ministry of Health and key stakeholders both locally and internationally. It will do this by focusing on being a research incubator to promote high-quality palliative care research, delivering high-quality educational contents through blended learning (face-to-face and online medium), and disseminating knowledge through strategic partnerships.