(Hong Kong, 07 November 2012) Hong Kong is facing a rapidly ageing population. According to Government projection, the population of elderly persons aged 65 or above are expected to increase from 900 thousand at present to 2.1 million in 2030. As incidence of cancer and chronic illnesses is increasing due to the ageing population, the demand for hospice and palliative care will continue to grow. In a recent report assessing the “quality of death” across 40 countries/regions, Hong Kong was ranked 20th, lagging behind both Taiwan and Singapore. To promote positive attitude towards death & dying and to increase public awareness towards hospice and palliative care, the “19th Hong Kong International Cancer Congress Hospice & Palliative Social Work Satellite Symposium”, organized by the Department of Social Work and Social Administration of the University of Hong Kong and fully sponsored by the Li Ka Shing Foundation “Heart of Gold” Hong Kong Hospice Service Program, was held at the Auditorium in Hong Kong Council of Social Services Duke of Windsor Building today (7 November 2012).
Under the theme of “Multidisciplinary Palliative Collaboration – Consolidation & Harmony”, about 400 healthcare professionals in palliative care from the Mainland and Hong Kong attended the event. Officiating at the Opening Ceremony of the Symposium were Professor G.M. Leung, Head of Department of Community Medicine, HKU; Dr. Sandra Tsang, Head of Department of Social Work and Social Administration, HKU; Professor Cecilia Chan, Associate Dean of Faculty of Social Science, HKU and representative from Li Ka Shing Foundation.
The half-day program of the 19th Hong Kong International Cancer Congress Hospice & Palliative Social Work Satellite Symposium consisted of two sessions: “Models of Quality EOL Care” and “Emerging Trends in EOL Care”, with topics related to best practice end-of-life care models, end-of-life social policies, trends of end-of-life psycho-social intervention, use of information technology and social media in promoting dignified hospice & palliative care, and spiritual works of various religious body in the hospital setting.
HKU is indebted to the continued support from the Li Ka Shing Foundation and its sponsorship for this symposium. The Foundation aims at contributing to the society by helping those in need to build a better life. In 2007, the Li Ka Shing Foundation “Heart of Gold” Hong Kong Hospice Service Programme contributed HK$82 million to the Hospital Authority to set up hospice day care centres across ten public hospitals to ease the physical and emotional suffering of the terminally ill and comprehensive palliative care services. To date, the programme has benefited more than 20,000 cancer patients.
Satellite Symposium Speaker List & Topics:
Session 1: Models of Quality EOL Care
The First Six Months after the death of Patient: A Prospective study on bereaved family members of hospice patients
Dr. Amy Y. M. Chow (Associate Professor, Department of Social Work & Social Administration, HKU)
Ms. Iris Chan (Research Assistant, Department of Social Work & Social Administration. HKU)
Go In Peace: Social Policy in EoL Care in Hong Kong
Dr. Chan Hon Wai Felix, JP (Member, The Elderly Commission; Service Director (Primary & Community Health Care), Chief of Service (Medicine), Consultant Physician (Geriatrics), Hospital Authority)
Palliative Care Service Models In North District Hospital
Dr. Raymond S.K. Lo (“Heart of Gold” Hospice Programme-In-Charge, Hospice Centre, North District Hospital; New Territories East Cluster Coordinator of Hospice and Palliative Services)
Family focused Bereavement Care
Ms. Agnes Tin (Teaching Consultant, Centre on Behavioral Health, HKU)
Session 2: Emerging Trends in EOL Care
Health Promoting Dignified Palliative Care: The Application of Social Media and Information Technology in Life and Death Education
Mr. Andy H.Y. Ho (Research Officer & Honorary Lecturer, Department of Social Work & Social Administration, HKU)
Life Review as Intervention Tool
Ms. Gloria Chan (Clinical Psychologist, Prince of Wales Hospital Hospice Centre)
In Search of the Pure Land – Buddhist Hospitals Caring Services
Ms. Elaine Wan (General Secretary, The Centre For Spiritual Progress To Great Awakening Limited)
Parable of a Grain of Wheat – Spiritual Care at the End of Life
Rev. Chris Wong (Senior Chaplain, Haven of Hope Christian Service)
Footprints in the Sand – A Catholic Perspective On Life & Death
Father Chau King Fun (Director, Institute of Religious Sciences, Holy Spirit Seminary College of Theology and Philosophy)
Department of Social Work and Social administration, University of Hong Kong
The Department of Social Work and Social administration of the University of Hong Kong is one of the leaders in providing social work training in the field of hospice and palliative care. With an ageing population, the Department also introduced courses of “Life & Death Education”, “Holistic Care” and “Bereavement Support” to equip students and practitioners with evidence-based intervention techniques.
Li Ka Shing Foundation “Heart of Gold” Hong Kong Hospice Service Programme
In 1998, responding to a growing need to serve terminally ill cancer patients in Mainland China, the Li Ka Shing Foundation set up the nation’s first free hospice at the First Affiliated Hospital of the Shantou University Medical College, providing free hospice care for impoverished cancer patients at home, offering pain alleviation, psychological counseling, and other terminal care..The “Heart of Gold” National Hospice Service Program has then developed into a network of 42 top-rated hospitals across the nation in both Mainland China and Hong Kong, serving 20,000 patients annually. Since its inception, over 140,000 patients have benefited.
In 2011, the Li Ka Shing Foundation “Heart of Gold” Hong Kong Hospice Service Programme launched the Hospice Home website (www.hospicehome.hk), a one-stop platform for hospice service information and interaction, allowing compassionate citizens to offer support and empathy in a way that can make a huge difference in the lives of patients.
To date, the “Heart of Gold” Hong Kong Hospice Service Programme:
•Served nearly 20,000 primary cancer patients
•Benefited more than 300,000 cancer patients
•Provided more than 42,000 home care visits
•Provided more than 33,000 sessions of psychological counseling for patients
•Conducted more than 1,400 sessions of counseling for bereaved children