YTL Foundation and Hospis Malaysia Join Hands to Raise Awareness on How Palliative Care is Our Collective Responsibility

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  • YTL Foundation hosted a public lecture by Hospis Malaysia centered on how managing pain and suffering in palliative care
  • Palliative medicine is a medical specialty that focuses on pain management and symptom control
  • Aims to help patients and their families cope with the many burdens of a life-limiting illness; from side effects of a medical treatment to managing caregiver stress
  • Malaysia has the potential to become a leader in palliative care

Kuala Lumpur, April 17, 2017: YTL Foundation hosted a public lecture with Hospis Malaysia centred on how managing pain and suffering in palliative care was the responsibility of the greater community, held at The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

As part of Hospis Malaysia’s Palliative Care Awareness Month Campaign themed ‘Living and Dying in Pain – It Doesn’t Have to Happen’, Malaysian-born Professor Bee Leng Wee shared why everyone should get involved in helping those suffering from life-limiting illnesses.

Palliative medicine is a medical specialty that focuses on pain management and symptom control, and aims to help patients and their families cope with the many burdens of a life-limiting illness; from side effects of a medical treatment to managing caregiver stress.

Palliative care involves a multidisciplinary team of palliative care trained doctors, nurses and other allied healthcare professionals such as physiotherapists and pharmacists.

Professor Bee is the National Clinical Director for End of Life Care at the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). During her speech, she highlighted that Malaysia has the potential to become a leader in palliative care, but greater efforts need to be made to ensure people of all ages and at any stage of serious illnesses are aware of palliative care and its proven benefits.

Over 120 people who attended the event had the opportunity to hear from other experts. Dr. Ednin Hamzah, Chief Executive Officer of Hospis Malaysia, moderated a panel discussion that involved Puan Hajah Yatela Zainal Abidin, Chief Executive Officer of Sime Darby Foundation, Dr. Mary Suma Cardosa, President of the Malaysian Association for the Study of Pain (MASP), and Ehon Chan, Executive Director of Social Entrepreneurship at the Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC).

Some topics that were discussed include ways to engage all healthcare professionals to practice palliative medicine, how to educate children on palliative care and end-of-life discussions, and supporting caregivers of patients with life-limiting illnesses. Ehon Chan also added that investments in healthcare start-up’s will greatly benefit the country’s healthcare industry.

The Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance (WHPCA) reports that globally, 75% of the population are vulnerable to living and dying from treatable, but uncontrolled pain due to difficult access to controlled pain medicines or ‘opiophobia’, the unreasonable fear which can arise in health care providers in prescribing pain relieving medicines (opioids) such as morphine, due to fears and myths of addiction, and inadequate training and understanding of the use of opioid medications among healthcare professionals.

Hospis Malaysia offers annual palliative care themed workshops for healthcare professionals and medical students, and monthly palliative care themed workshops for caregivers. Please visit www.hospismalaysia.org for more information.