From the President’s Desk

Dr. Sushma Bhatnagar

Dear Friends,

Today, in the dawn of New Year, let us start our day with new hopes! We went through a horrifying nightmare; it was not easy to overcome, the loss is huge, yet we survived! If we go down the memory lane, we could hardly find a year that we wanted to say adieu to, as indignantly as 2020.

In 2021, hope is high to overcome the pandemic. The vaccine is ready and hopefully by the first half of 2021, the world would be free from the torment.

We have great news to share in this New Year!

IAPCON Patna will be held as a virtual conference in March 2021. You can find the details in this newsletter. The scientific program has been finalized and abstract submission guidelines will be published soon.

Another major development is the approval of DNB Palliative Medicine by the National Board of Examinations. I would also like to officially announce that the Academy of Palliative Medicine (APM) has started functioning under the aegis of IAPC. The purpose of APM is detailed in this newsletter.The Department of Revenue (DOR) has agreed to have a dedicated link in their website for medicinal use of opioids. A great support, indeed.

The Part 2 of the IAPC Academy Lecture Series will start from 18th January, 6:30 AM to 7:30 AM. Our heartfelt gratitude to all the faculty for making the part 1 Lecture Series a great success.

We are also starting a new online training program, Leadership training in 2021.When the classroom training turned impossible, IAPC successfully conducted online sessions for July and December batches of Certificate Course in Essentials of Palliative Care. More than 500 Medical and Nursing Professionals got trained in these sessions. We could also organise online training for physiotherapists and counselors.We are getting applications from students to join for the virtual internship program. Ms Apoorva, a medical student, has joined this program and in this newsletter you can read about the details of the project.

On behalf of IAPC, I express our sincere gratitude to all those who are working tirelessly for Palliative Care amidst the pandemic. Dr Gayatri Palat and her team joined us to educate, update as well as to plan and share strategies to continue the palliative care delivery in India during the initial months of the pandemic by organizing an echo series on Palliative Care and COVID-19. The Team IJPC, with the brilliant leadership of Dr Naveen Salins brought us an exclusive issue on COVID-19 and Palliative Care. The Cipla Foundation has offered immense support to IAPC in many areas by sponsoring our activities. Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation (NSF) is partnering with us for the Academy of Palliative Medicine. I cannot name each and everyone who supported IAPC to continue its mission without any hurdles. But I wish to express our gratitude to all.

I request you all to join the virtual conference – IAPCON 2021 – in March. We are trying our best to present a great scientific session with the participation of expert faculty in the field.

Wishing you a very happy and prosperous New Year!

Warm regards.

Dr. Sushma Bhatnagar

IAPC Organizes 28th International Conference Virtually

Conference Dates: 19th – 21st March, 2021

Theme: Searching Empathy through Research

The 28th International Conference of Indian Association of Palliative Care – IAPCON2021 – will be held virtually on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the 19th, 20th and 21st of March, 2021 from 4 PM to 8 PM. Virtual pre-conference workshops will be held on Thursday, the 18th of March 2021 from 9 AM to 3 PM. This virtual conference is coordinated by AIIMS Patna, the organizers of the 2021 conference. Registration is mandatory for participation.

Please follow this link to download conference brochure to know details of registration.

Pre-Conference Workshop on 18th March 2021, 9AM to 3PM

  • For Doctors: Communication and Pain Management
  • For Nurses: ELNEC, Palliative Nursing Care
  • For volunteers & Social Workers: Palliative Care in Hospital and Community

For registration, please email to

Annual General Body Meeting of IAPC 2021

The Annual General Meeting of the Indian Association of Palliative Care (IAPC) will be held on Saturday, the 20th of March, 2021 from 6-8 PM. The AGM also will be held virtually. For details, please follow this Link

Notice of Nomination and Election

The election to the following posts of IAPC will be held during the AGM, on Saturday, the 20th March 2021.

  • The President of IAPC
  • Central Council Member (West – 1 vacancy)

For nomination form and other details regarding election, please follow this Link

National Board Approves

DNB Palliative Medicine

National Board of Examinations in Medical Science approved DNB, Palliative Medicine. The first batch of candidates will be selected from the NEET Rank list May – June 2021. Eligibility criteria of institutions to start this training program will soon be announced by the National Board.

IAPC requests all eligible institutions in India to come forward to start this training program. Be part of this great task in developing palliative care in our country.

IAPC Academy- Series 2

From Monday, 18th January, 2021

The Part 2 of the IAPC Academy Lecture Series will begin with a talk by the eminent faculty and a pioneer in the field of Palliative Care in India, Dr. Suresh Kumar, Director WHO CC for Community Participation in Palliative Care and Long Term Care, Institute of Palliative Medicine, Kozhikode, India. He took a significant role in developing the globally acclaimed Community Owned Palliative Care Services in Kerala which is also known as Neighborhood Network in Palliative Care (NNPC). Dr. Suresh Kumar will be sharing his experience of setting up Community Palliative Care Services in his lecture on 18th January, from 6:30 AM to 7:30 AM.

Well experienced faculty working in different areas will be with us to share the treasure of their experience, practical aspects of care and knowledge, in the part 2 of this series also.

The second lecture in the month of January will be by Dr. Ravinder Mohan of Cansupport, a pioneering organization, which has a wide network of Palliative Care Home Care Services in Delhi and NCR. Topic: Practical aspects of setting up and developing Palliative Home Care Services.

There will be 25 lectures in the section 2 of the series. Please download the program Here

Our sincere thanks to all faculty who made the Section 1 of the IAPC academy lectures a great success. We could successfully complete 26 lectures with the participation of MD students in Palliative Medicine and Doctors practicing Palliative Medicine, from all over the country.

CCEPC December 2020

The 2nd online batch of Certificate Course in Essentials of Palliative Care was started on 4th December. The online classes were held on 4th, 5th, 12th and 13th of December 2020. A total of 203 candidates, including doctors and nurses, from different centres in India, are doing the course.

The program will be over by 31st January 2021, and evaluation will be held in February 2021.

Academy of Palliative Medicine (APM)

An initiative for specialist palliative medicine training and accreditation in India

Under the aegis of Indian Association of Palliative Care (IAPC), the Academy of Palliative Medicine (APM) is formed in partnership with Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation (NSF). Recently, IAPC got a generous commitment from NSF of INR 61.84 lakhs for setting up the Academy of Palliative Medicine.

The purpose of creating the APM is to create an alternate path to specialist palliative medicine training and accreditation in India. At present there are only few training opportunities for specialist palliative medicine training and many institutions are finding it difficult to start and offer MD Palliative Medicine program due to stringent requirements. Therefore, APM will create a nationally valid qualification (Fellow of Academy of Palliative Medicine – FAPM) that could create specialist level employment opportunities for the existing and new doctors in palliative medicine.

It may provide opportunities to the non-medical college institutions in India to participate in specialist palliative medicine training. It will create a pathway for MD/MS/DM/MCh doctors in other clinical specialties practicing palliative care to become a palliative medicine specialist. It will also provide a structured training pathway to MBBS doctors practicing palliative care for many years to become a palliative medicine specialist. The overall impact of the APM is to augment the capacity to provide specialist palliative care through palliative care training at the specialist level.

Leadership in Palliative Care

Program starts in 2021

IAPC is pleased to announce its first course on Leadership in Palliative Care.

We are all aware of the importance of leadership skills. What many of us are not aware of is that these skills can be acquired! Very few people are born leaders.

Mentors from across the country will partner to deliver this course on a virtual platform. This unique course will be limited to 20 candidates. The programme is tailored to address the challenges of doctors working in Indian Palliative Care services.

The curriculum will cover Effective Communication, Crucial conversations, Teamwork, teaching skills and Conflict resolution.

This will help not only to optimize your strengths, but to understand and work on your weaknesses. The competencies will empower you and help drive change in your organization.

The details of the program will be announced on IAPC website,

Meet Our Intern

Ms Apoorva

Ms Apoorva Varshini, a medical student, has started virtual internship with IAPC under the Virtual Internship Program. She is working with IAPC in a research project- Mapping India, Palliative Care Services Near Me. Many of you must have already received emails from Apoorva as part of the project. Please support IAPC to complete this project at the earliest by providing the details asked in the survey form circulated.

Interested students can join for the virtual internship program with IAPC and get experience in various fields including research. For details, please follow this Link

Mapping India

Palliative Care Services Near Me

Hello friends,

IAPC is collecting data regarding all the available palliative services in the country. The revised Minimum Standard Tool for Palliative Care in India is being used for this purpose. This will provide information about the available levels of palliative services, updated information about IAPC members as well data with which a nation -wide, state- wise, service directory app can be developed over the coming months.

Ms Apoorva, our intern has already sent a survey form to palliative care service providers in India. But only a few have submitted details.

You are requested to fill in this form in Google Forms at this Link.

Thank you,

Dr. Savita Butola
Secretary, IAPC

A Home at the End

Ms. Adilakshmamma, Counselor, Karunashraya, Bangalore

From Chikmagalur in Karnataka, known for its picturesque coffee estates, a 50 year old man arrived at our Hospice, Karunashraya in Bangalore. The initial days were difficult as the patient was uncooperative and arrogant. But the compassionate care helped him to be a peaceful soul who loves to spend time with us. He accepted us as his family. He called his nursing aid as Papamma (like a daughter). At the events we organized, he sang folk songs, showing a flash of liveliness. He was fond of taking photographs with our team. He loved delicious food and the staff tried to serve him the food he likes. His life at Karunashraya illustrates the transformative changes brought by human connections. A little kindness was all he wanted!

Read the story Here.

Book of the month

Till We Win – India’s Fight Against the COVID-19 Pandemic
Authors: Dr. Randeep Guleria, Director, AIIMS, Dr Gagandeep Kang, Dr Chandrakant Lahariya

Offering insights on how India continues to fight the pandemic, Till We Win is a must-read for everyone. It is a book for the people, for political leaders, policymakers and physicians, with the promise and potential to transform public health in India. Please follow this link to know more about this book.

Worth Reading

  1. Dr. Vidya Viswanath of HBCH&RC, Visakhapatnam introduces an article – “What Caring for My Aging Parents Taught Me That Medical Education Did Not
    “Old age is but a second childhood”- is an often heard quote. Once again realised its relevance when an essay from JAMA Neurology was sent as a What’s App forward. “What Caring for My Aging Parents Taught Me That Medical Education Did Not”, detailed the foreseeable practical, financial, emotional and medical challenges to be planned for along with the difficult conversations needed to navigate the world of aging parents. This essay triggered a chain reaction among peers and many of them endorsed the described experience- writes Dr Vidya.
  2. Here you can find a collection of 15 Best Books about Hospice and Palliative Care

Moments To Cherish

Click to enlarge.

1. Student volunteers always play a key role in providing support to the community palliative care services in Kerala. Finding resources to run the services is a huge challenge during COVID-19 pandemic. Here they again stepped in- with a unique idea- to raise fund for Pain and Palliative Care Society, Kozhikode. It’s “Biriyani Fest”- they cooked, and delivered, yummy Chicken Biriyanis to the doorsteps of those who ordered for it.

Click to enlarge.

2. A step ahead in volunteering! The employees and their family members of General Electricals (GE) enthusiastically took their time out from their hectic schedules and came together to create a video of ‘Talent Show’ for the entertainment of patients at Karunashraya, Bangalore!

Click to enlarge.

3. Here is a painting by Dr Sivasanthanam from Prince Aly Khan hosp, Mazgaon , Mumbai. He has shared a series of paintings with IAPC and offered all rights to publish it. Following is the first one in this series.

Re-Launching India Edition of


The India edition of ehospice – a global platform to share news, views and any relevant activity related to the field of Hospice and Palliative Care will be available to our readers from mid – January 2021. If you have to share any update or articles related to palliative care with global palliative care community, please write to us at

Visit ehospice @

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For donations to IAPC and for further information write to

Nisha Krishnadas, Editor, IAPC Newsletter.

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