Greetings from the President
 
Birth, ageing, illness and death constitute an inextricable main part of human life. 
Hospice palliative care emphasizes providing the total care in the aspects of physical, psychological, and spiritual to patients and family members that is sufficient to meet their needs.  The vigorous development of hospice palliative care not only is a global trend but also becomes an integral part in medical mainstream.
 
Over the past more than 20 years, the world has witnessed Taiwan’s rapid development in hospice palliative care.  We are proud to be recognized by the Economist in its commentary published in “The 2015 Quality of Death Index” in which Taiwan was ranked No. 6 for palliative care across the world, and No. 1 in Asia.  This was a collective effort and achievement by medical professionals, NGOs, and the competent government institutes.
 
Founded in 1999 and under the leadership of prior Chairmen and the board coupled with contribution from the senior management and all members, our academy has been well-established and is able to play an indispensable role in expanding hospice palliative care in Taiwan.  We have the obligation to continue nurturing the abundant achievements and also to strive for innovations to advance our goal and mission.  In the meantime, I want to express my deep appreciation for the guidance from senior executives and the support by all our members so that now our academy operates smoothly and collaborates seamlessly.
 
Moving forward, we will focus on and prioritize the following key issues.

 
1.    Continue to provide quality service to members, strengthen the relationship between members
       and our academy.

2.    Formulate or revise the relevant operating manuals or SOPs to facilitate smooth operations.
3.    Bring the training program of hospice palliative care up to date for specialist physicians to
       strengthen professional care capabilities.
4.    
Proactively plan related continuing medical education courses to enhance professional care
       capabilities, when needed.

5.    Publish recommendations or guidelines for end-of-life care as a reference for clinical care to
       improve the quality of care.

6.    Actively strengthen exchanges and interactions with relevant societies to improve the coverage
       of non-cancer patients in hospice palliative care.

7.    Actively strive for reasonable NHI coverage for end-of-life care to enhance the quality
       and popularity of such care.
8.    
Strengthen the ability of primary medical personnel in caring the end-of-life patients to
       improve the quality and quantity of the community hospice palliative care.

9.    Actively participate in the government's planning and formulation of end-of-life care policies.
10.  Strength international exchanges and cooperation to promote hospice palliative care in Taiwan
       and keep up with the global trend.
 
Facing challenges of the ageing society and to meet the needs for health care in such a society, medical care should return to be people-centric and upheld as the core value.  Professor Xie Bosheng’s final words urging the medical community to go beyond medical treatment in dealing with the elderly at the end of life.  Instead, it is imperative to develop various modes to allow the elderly to “retreat from the stage of life” naturally and with dignity.  In this respect, hospice palliative care is in line with Professor Xie’s expecation.  All members should continue to work hard to develop an indigenous hospice palliative care appropriate for Taiwan.  It is a long journey to provide quality terminal care for people so that they are able to have a peaceful and digified end-of-life.  I believe we will work together to meet the challenges and tackle all difficulties to achieve that.  This is not only a blessing to the people of the country, but also a symbol of the country’s progress in humanity and civility .

 

 Jaw-Shiun Tsai, President
Taiwan Academy of Hospice Palliative Medicine