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Registration numbers exceed expectations for Thai Living Will and Palliative Care conference

Author: Tharin Phenwan, MD., Walailak University School of Medicine
26 April 2017

Walailak University School of Medicine, in collaboration with National Health Office of Thailand and Faculty of Law, Thammasat University, held a successful regional level conference at Walailak University on 24 March 2017.

The theme of this conference was: ‘Living Will and Palliative Care’ emphasising the importance of advance directives, which have been legalised since 2007.

Participants mainly came from district health areas 11 and 12 of Thailand, including doctors, nurses, volunteers, as well as medical and nursing students.

During the opening address, Dr Poladej Pinpratheep, secretary of the National Health Office of Thailand, made an opening speech about the National Health Act 2007 and health and well-being of Thai citizens.

He also stated that the mission of the office is to make the public more aware of palliative care. To achieve that, the office is more than welcome to hold a forum or a conference like this one, to work towards a ‘good death’ for all Thai people.

Walailak University School of Medicine, for example, is also a good place to start expanding knowledge into this field.

Furthermore, to prepare for upcoming 'super-aged' society in decades’ time, Thailand needs to prepare a diverse supporting network; vast support infrastructure, health policies, and also knowledge to take care of the future elderly as well.

Thus, apart from being the centre body of knowledge in Southern Thailand, the School of Medicine needs to support the referral system from the community, as well as operating as an academic and research centre.

Unexpectedly, conference registration was overbooked within a few days. The conference room which could hold only 90 people was used to accommodate 125, while the rest had to attend the conference from outside the venue.

Final registration numbers were 256 persons in total, reflecting the overwhelming interest of this topic in the area.

During the afternoon session, Dr Tharin Phenwan announced that the Hospice Project at Walailak University has recently been approved by the government and is expected to open within a few years.

Walailak Hospice Project was designed to support the increasing needs of palliative care patients around this community and also aims to be the centre for academic training for healthcare providers and also research in palliative care.

Read more about the conference in Thai at

See more articles in Education

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