14 September 2013

The 6th Palliative Care Symposiumfor Health Care Workers in Chinese Population: ‘Palliative Care for Geriatric Cancer Patients’



The 6th Annual Palliative Care Symposium for Health Care Workers in Chinese Population, jointly organized by the Faculty of Medicine of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK); Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong (HKU), the Hong Kong Geriatrics Societyandthe Li Ka Shing Foundation ‘Heart of Gold’ Hong Kong Hospice Service Program, was held at the Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care Building in the Prince of Wales Hospital today (14 September). Prof. H. K. Ng, Acting Dean, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK; Dr. Janice Tsang, Assistant Dean (Alumni Relations), Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, HKU; Dr. Luk Ka Hay, Vice-President, The Hong Kong Geriatrics Society; Dr. Chung Kin Lin, Chief Manager, Integrated Care Programs, Hospital Authority and representative from Li Ka Shing Foundation officiated the Opening Ceremony of the symposium.

The Hong Kong elderly population aged over 65 has risen from 4.5% of the total population in 1971 to 12.5% in 2007. By 2031, the ratio is expected to rise to 24% with a triple number of people aged over 75. Since the prevalence of illness and disability rises with age, the growth of the elderly population has important implications for health and social services. With this background, the symposium this year set its theme as ‘Palliative Care for Geriatrics Cancer Patients’ to specially address the concern and needs of the elderly cancer patients in the field of palliative care. The annually held symposium provides a platform for healthcare workers and researchers on palliative care in the Chinese societies to enhance knowledge and exchange experience in the provision of end-of-life service to geriatric cancer patients, which in turn uplift the quality of hospice services and to benefit the Chinese population at large.

The symposium this year focused on palliative care for geriatric cancer patients. Over 100 healthcare professionals from different background took part in this symposium.  It is also the first time that The Hong Kong Geriatrics Society has co-organized this symposium. Its representative Dr. Lam Po Tin, a renowned speaker in the field of geriatric medicine and palliative care, delivered a plenary lecture on ‘Symptom Management in the Elderly Cancer Patient’. Various experts from both Hong Kong and mainland China including doctors, nurses and social workers also shared their experiences and exchanged views on symptoms management, measures to enhance quality of life and nursing programme for advanced cancer patients.

The organizers are indebted to the continued support from the Li Ka Shing Foundation and its sponsorship for this symposium. The Foundation aims at contributing to society by helping those in need to build a better life. Its munificent support in health care has benefited countless patients in Hong Kong, Mainland China and worldwide. In 1998, the Foundation pioneered free hospice care services in the mainland with the establishment of the 'Heart of Gold' Hospice Service Programme. The Foundation's total donation of over $500 million has supported 42 hospice centres in the Mainland and Hong Kong, serving 20,000 patients annually and benefitting 150,000  cancer patients.

The organizers are also thankful to the Hospital Authority which provides patients with comprehensive palliative care services including treatment, rehabilitation and support through multidisciplinary collaboration in its palliative care centres.

(From left) Dr. Janice Tsang, Assistant Dean (Alumni Relations), Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, HKU; Dr. Chung Kin Lin, Chief Manager, Integrated Care Programs, Hospital Authority; Prof. H. K. Ng, Acting Dean, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK; Dr. Luk Ka Hay, Vice-President, The Hong Kong Geriatrics Society and Dr. Katherine Lo, Senior Project Manager, Li Ka Shing Foundation officiate the Opening Ceremony of the symposium.
(From left) Dr. Janice Tsang, Assistant Dean (Alumni Relations), Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, HKU; Dr. Chung Kin Lin, Chief Manager, Integrated Care Programs, Hospital Authority; Prof. H. K. Ng, Acting Dean, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK; Dr. Luk Ka Hay, Vice-President, The Hong Kong Geriatrics Society and Dr. Katherine Lo, Senior Project Manager, Li Ka Shing Foundation officiate the Opening Ceremony of the symposium.

Dr. Lam Po Tin from the Hong Kong Geriatrics Society delivers a plenary lecture on ‘Symptom Management in the Elderly Cancer Patient’.
Dr. Lam Po Tin from the Hong Kong Geriatrics Society delivers a plenary lecture on ‘Symptom Management in the Elderly Cancer Patient’.