Message from the President
    Over the past 20 years, Taiwan has experienced a flourishing Hospice Movement, breaking through traditional social and cultural barriers under the leadership of predecessors, improving the quality of dying and death for patients to achieve the ultimate goal of "a good death".
    In 2000, Taiwan legalized Asia's earliest Hospice Palliative Care Act, and established the specialist physician system in the same year. In 2009, it expanded palliative care services to include non-cancer illnesses. The Patient Right to Autonomy Act was officially implemented in 2019, with concerted efforts to promote the rights of terminally- ill patients in Taiwan, earning recognition from around the world. In 2015, The Economist Intelligence Unit's global ranking of the Quality of Death Index, Taiwan was honored to rank sixth worldwide and first in Asia. In 2021, Taiwan continued its progress, achieving the prestigious rank of third in the world. Taiwan's achievements in hospice and palliative care have garnered worldwide attention.
    We realize that Taiwan's leading position is attributed to its advanced legislation, comprehensive coverage by the National Health Insurance, training of professionals, and flourishing academic research. However, it cannot be denied that there are rooms for improvement. Our predecessors have laid excellent foundations, but we must never be complacent. We should adopt a humble attitude, listen to various voices, and strive for even better quality of care.
    I am deeply grateful for the guidance of my predecessors. Today, I am entrusted with a significant responsibility, and I hope to continue advancing or strengthening the following initiatives during my tenure:

1. Assist in promoting palliative care medical education in major hospitals, attracting more talented young
    physicians to engage in end-of-life medical care.

2. Continuously update and revise the specialized training course for palliative care physicians to enhance
    core competencies in professional care.

3. Actively plan relevant continuing education courses or workshops to foster consensus and enhance
    professional care capabilities.

4. From the perspective of evidence-based medicine, establish local data to publish recommendations or
    guidelines for end-of-life care, serving as reference basis for clinical care to enhance the quality of care.

5. Continuously strengthen communication and interaction with relevant associations to establish
    consensus on referrals for palliative care for non-cancer patients, aiming to enhance coverage rate.

6. Continue to advocate for reasonable health insurance reimbursement for end-of-life care to enhance the
    quality of care and willingness to provide care.

7. Strengthen the ability of primary healthcare personnel in end-of-life care to fulfill the wishes and desires
    of terminally- ill patients to die peacefully at home.

8. Participate in legislation to serve as a strong advocate for government policies related to end-of-life care.
9. Engage in constructive interactions with the media to promote accurate information on palliative care,
    enhancing public health literacy.

10. Actively engage in international educational and research collaborations to promote Taiwan's
      substantive contributions and visibility in palliative care.

    We often use the term "Hospice Face" to describe the personality trait of physicians involved in palliative care, portraying them as compassionate individuals with deep empathy. Building upon the solid foundation that has been laid, may the like-minded palliative care professionals in Taiwan continue to collaborate and support each other in policy revisions, clinical care quality, teaching techniques, and research standards. Let us join hands and work together to build up the land for palliative care surrounded by science, justice and compassion.


Shao-Yi Cheng, MD, MSc, DrPH
Director/ Professor,
Department of Family Medicine,
College of Medicine & Hospital
National Taiwan University