News & Events

Conference Report

The 27th annual International Conference of Indian Association of Palliative Care was organized at Guwahati (Assam) at GMCH auditorium in association with IAPC and State Cancer Institute, GMC, Guwahati from 14th-16th of February 2020

The motto of this year’s conference was- “Empower”, “Engage” and “Entrust”- to carry forward the struggle against cancer and to deliver the best of services and set international standards of practice to reach the most deprived and the needy.

There was an impressive number of Pre-conference workshops on 13th February – a dozen in all. conducted by faculties from all over India. These included: a paediatric palliative care, research methodology, spirituality, neuro-palliative care workshop, among others.The task force on acute humanitarian situations involved discussion and sharing of experiences by officers of the Border Security Force about the ‘Role of security forces in natural and man-made disasters’ and the need for developing guidelines. ‘Humanity to Infinity’ defined the thoughts in this workshop- a phrase introduced by Dr Mhoira Leng, who came across it during her work in conflict riddled Gaza.

The highlights included Plenary sessions on the following topics:

Palliative care education in India Available Educational courses & Career opportunities in India: Dr Prakash Fernandez
Palliative Care & the next generation: Dr Mhoira Leng
Institution based palliative care: Dr Sushma Bhatnagar
Political will for prevention & relief of suffering at the End of Life Changing Governments, changing scenarios: Dr Srinagesh Simha
The bureaucratic opinion on Palliative Care & EOLC: Dr Roop Gursahani
Delivering palliative care in the undeserved settings in India: Dr Ravi Kannan
Mapping levels of Palliative Care Developmen: Dr. Stephen Connor
Primary Palliative Care in Universal Health Coverag: Dr Daniel Munday
What evidence do we have that Palliative Care improves outcomes in Medicine?: Dr Cynthia Goh
Palliative Care Research: Opportunities & Challenges: Prof Frank Ferris
Realizing Quality Improvement in Palliative Care setting: Jake Mickelsen & Nandini Vallath

The inauguration of the conference was held on 14th of February. The total number of delegates attending the conference was 750. Total number of international delegate/faculty attending the conference was 27. It offered enlightening and brainstorming scientific sessions. Since palliative care is a multidisciplinary branch, so besides the doctors, nurses, volunteers, philanthropists and many social workers also attended the conference. In a new beginning, Central armed Police Forces deputed 25 doctors, dentists and nursing officers to attend the conference.

Parallel sessions included sessions related to Pain management, Paediatric issues, Nursing issues, caretakers and role of volunteers as well as newer initiatives in the North East and integration with Indian Academy of Family Physicians of India Task Force. The annual general body meeting being held on the 15th. There were also multiple paper presentation sessions with poster presentations. The cultural program held was also enjoyed thoroughly and enthusiastically by all.

Winners of Various Competitions

Bruce Davis Gold Medal by IPM, Kozhikode – carries a medal and a cash reward of Rs 25,000/. The Winner for 2019 is Dr Angeline Yvette Mascarenhas – from St John’s Medical College & Hospital, Bangalore.

This is a prestigious award for young doctors in India for their excellence in Palliative care. Dr Abhijit Dam and Dr Lulu Mathews presented the award during the inaugural session of IAPCON 2020 at GMCH auditorium. On behalf of Dr Angeline, Dr Geraldine Monterio accepted the award.

Debate – There was a lively debate on whether “Implementation of Advance Directives in India is highly practical”. Dr Bhawesh Pangaria won the first prize.

Quiz – The team from the West Zone led by Dr Nandini Vallath was awarded the first prize while the team from the North Zone led by Dr Anjum Khan Joad won the second prize.

Oral paper presentations – 1st prize: Dr Puneet Rathore, 2nd prize: Dr Revathi Rajagopal, 3rd prize: Manju B K

Poster presentations – 1st prize: Sravannthi Maya, 2nd prize: Akanksha Bansal, 3rd prize: Bethsheba Eisher

International Award for Excellence in Palliative Care 2019-2020 by Cancer Aid Society, earlier given only to doctors has two new categories from this year – one each for nurses and social workers/volunteers/individuals. This award carries a citation. The winners are: Doctors’ category: Dr Navin Salins, Nurses’ category: Mrs Alice Stella, Volunteers’ category: Mr KM Noordeen

The conference successfully helped in changing attitude towards palliative care practice as was evident from the feedback by all those attending it. Delegates were interested in learning more, knowing the system, the protocols involved in patient care and also about further expansion of services in the field. All in all, the conference has enlightened and sparked several minds and proved to be valuable and enjoyable with good hospitality services amidst the rich culture and heritage of Assam.

IAPC is grateful to Dr Dinesh Goswami, Dr Arun Deka, Dr Sanghamitra Bora and their entire team of organizers and scientific committee as well as many other volunteers who worked tirelessly over the last one year amidst unfavourable circumstances to make this IAPCON a success.

The jubilant organizing committee at the Valedictory function.

Brief Report on Academic Discussions

Quality Assessment and Improvement of IAPC Certificate Course in Essentials of Palliative Care was held at State Cancer Institute Guwahati on 13th February 2020. Dr. Sushma Bhatnagar (President, IAPC), Dr. Lulu Mathews (Chairperson, Board of Examiners, IAPC), Dr. Seema Rao (Coordinator, Workshop), Centre coordinators and faculty members participated. Dr. Lulu Mathews presented an overview of the course, its history, present scenario, challenges and suggestions. IAPC Certificate Course in Essentials of Palliative Care was launched in November 2007 with 12 course centers across India.

Course is now being conducted through 37 centers all over the country. In the past two years 10 new centers started conducting this training program for Doctors with MBBS/ BDS and Nurses with GNM / BSc Nursing.

From June 2020, three batches of IAPC Course will be held in a year. Batches starting in June, November and additional batch in February.

Course Fee from June 2020: Doctors: Rs. 3500/- Nurses: Rs. 2200/-.

Course fee will cover the price of course material (IAPC Course Text Book and Guideline to write case reflection), and food during contact session and examination. Books are also available on payment of Rs. 500/- and courier charge. To get books, email to

Other training programs

Next batch of Basic Certificate Course in Palliative Medicine, a six weeks full time training program for Doctors with MBBS/BDS, being conducted by Institute of Palliative Medicine, Kozhikode (WHOCC) for Community Participation in Palliative Care and long term Care will be starting on 1st April 2020. Application form can be downloaded from the website:

A P J Abdul Kalam Technological University

The university recognizes the relevance of palliative care training for NSS volunteers to achieve ‘personality development through social service’.

Palliative care movement passes on its baton to the next generation.

Regional level training programmes for NSS volunteers have been held in different regions for the formation of Palliative care clubs in engineering colleges on 8th and 9th February 2020, at Vidya Academy of Science & Technology, Thrissur, with the support of Thrissur Pain Palliative Care Initiative under the leadership of Dr Divakaran and his team. 95 Volunteers attended the programme. Prof N N Gokuldas, Dr E Divakaran, Mrs Jyothi Jayan Warrier, Dr Satheesh Kumar and M. C Soumy led the sessions.

Valedictory function was inaugurated by M Anil Melepurath, NSS Programme officer, Vidya Academy of Science and Technology, Thrissur. On 21st February 2020 at Mar Baselious Institute of Tech & Science (MBITS), Nellimattom, Ernakulam with the support from Mr Mujeeb Kuttamassery, member, South Zone, Central Council, IAPC and Vice President, Consortium of Pain and Palliative Care Units in Ernakulam District and his team. M/s K Radhakrishna Menon, Jos Pulimoottil, Mujeeb Kuttamassery and E V Abraham led the sessions. 90 volunteers attended the programme. Mr Antony John, MLA, formally inaugurated the programme.

Updates & Information

1. AIIMS, New Delhi drafts End of Care policy giving family the option of stopping treatment in terminal cases.

2. Mumbai: At Tata hospital, Yoga, Ayurveda for cancer patients. Mumbai News-Times of India (courtesy, Times of

3. How long Do I Have? New Online Tool for Patients with Cancer:

4. New Department of Palliative Medicine announced in SMS Medical College, Jaipur. With the CTC 3 programme participants, the team headed by Dr Ashwin Mathur is going to start a dedicated department of Palliative Medicine at SMS Medical college, Jaipur.

Forthcoming Events

IAPCON 2021 Patna, Bihar

Details of IAPCON 2021 will soon be uploaded on the website.

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