Published on: November 21, 2011

Though most of us are impatient about the slow growth of palliative care in the Asia-Pacific region, we must admit that there are some clear signs of progress.

Most importantly, many oncologists are now embracing principles of palliative care. This was very evident at the 21st Asia Pacific Cancer Conference which was held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center, 10-12 November 2011.

In the 1990s, when palliative care started featuring in our Oncology conferences, the humble palliative care session was predictably in “Hall E” on the last afternoon of the conference. In those days, the speakers often equaled the audience in number (no exaggeration!)

Dr Ednin Hamzah

Not any longer. For the last few years, attendance at Palliative Care sessions gradually increased, so much so, the organizers this time decided to have two and half days of continuous palliative care sessions – that too in important halls – they were really well-attended; often better than in Oncology sessions.

Dr Ednin Hamza, the organizer of the palliative care stream is to be congratulated; so also the palliative care pioneers in the country whose incessant advocacy resulted in this happy change.


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