MOH keen to expand palliative care

The number of patients under home palliative care has trebled since 2009, to about 5,000 today. The majority of these are cancer patients, but the Health Ministry is keen to work with providers to expand the service to more patients with other termin
The number of patients under home palliative care has trebled since 2009, to about 5,000 today. The majority of these are cancer patients, but the Health Ministry is keen to work with providers to expand the service to more patients with other terminal illnesses. Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor (above) shared this on Saturday, Oct 12, 2013. -- ST FILE PHOTO: JOYCE FANG

The number of patients under home palliative care has trebled since 2009, to about 5,000 today. The majority of these are cancer patients, but the Health Ministry is keen to work with providers to expand the service to more patients with other terminal illnesses.

Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor shared this on Saturday night at this year's Voices for Hospices Charity Concert at Singapore Polytechnic. More will need to be done, she said, with demand for palliative care expected to double by 2020, when more than 10,000 patients per year will require palliative care.

"Many patients want to be cared for and to pass on in the comfort of their own homes, surrounded by family and loved ones."

Nine organisations currently provide in-patient and home palliative care. The largest among them are HCA Hospice Care which looks after about 3,000 people a year, Assisi Hospice which tends to 1,000, and Dover Park Hospice, which handles 700.