For the first time in Singapore, at St Joseph’s Home in Jurong, 16 beds were set aside for terminally ill patients.
1 Jul 1986 – Straits Times Article – A Place to Die Peacefully
A Straits Times article, A Place to Die Peacefully, described about the work at St Joseph’s Home. 144 people responded after reading the article. From this group, the first volunteer home hospice care group was birthed.
Mar 1987 – 1st Home Hospice Care
As a result of the newspaper article, volunteers came together and a Home Care hospice service was born. The Hospice Care Group (HCG) was housed with Singapore Cancer Society, and was ran essentially by volunteers, providing home hospice care to patients at home. This was the fore-runner of Hospice Care Association.
Jan 1988 – 1st Hospice Nurse
The first hospice nurse was employed by HCG
Nov 1988 – Assisi Home
Assisi Home set aside 12 beds for the terminally ill in the Khoo Block.
1988-1990 – Nurses trained
11 Singaporean nurses completed a 3-month residential course in palliative care.
Agape Home & Hospice
Agape Home and Hospice (later known as Methodist Hospice Fellowship) and then Agape Methodist Hospice was set up.
Oct 1989 – 1st Regional Hospice Conference
Singapore organised the first regional hospice conference attended by 250 participants from 10 countries.
Dec 1989 – Hospice Care Group registered
HCG became independent of Singapore Cancer Society and registered as a charity providing home hospice care. HCG then became Hospice Care Association or HCA Hospice Care, the largest home hospice care provider in Singapore till date.
Assisi Home remodelled its convent to house 31 terminally ill patients and 8 long-stay patients.
Nov 1992 – Dover Park Hospice registered
Dover Park Hospice registered as a charity with plans to build the first purpose-built hospice in Singapore. Local government was pressured to withdraw offer of land in Dover area due to strong opposition of residents in that area.
Decision was made to locate Dover Park Hospice with Hospice Care Association in a new building in Novena named the Hospice Centre.
Jun 1993 – Assisi Home & Hospice started home hospice care
Aug 1993 – 1st Day Hospice Care Centre
Assisi Home and Hospice opened its first Hospice Day Care Centre in Singapore.
Aug 1993 – St Joseph’s Home
St Joseph’s Home moved into new premises at 921 Jurong Road.
5 May 1995 – Singapore Hospice Council registered
Four founding members came together to form the Singapore Hospice Council, an umbrella body for hospice and palliative care services in Singapore.
Sep 1995 – Dover Park Hospice
Dover Park Hospice opened with 40 beds at 10 Jalan Tan Tock Seng, making it the first purpose-built in-patient hospice in Singapore.
Hospice Care Association opened its Day Care Centre at 12 Jalan Tan Tock Seng.
Tan Tock Seng Hospital
Tan Tock Seng Hospital set up the first local hospital-based Palliative Care Service in Singapore provided by their Department of Geriatric Medicine. The first medical social worker (MSW) of a palliative care service appointed locally.
Feb-Mar 1996 – 2nd Hospice & Palliative Care Conference
Singapore hosted its second Hospice and Palliative Care Conference which was attended by Dame Cicely Saunders, the founder of the modern hospice movement.
1st Singapore Palliative Care Conference
Education Committee of Singapore Hospice Council organised its first Biennial Scientific Meeting (which is subsequently known as the Singapore Palliative Care Conference).
Palliative medicine entered mainstream medicine
Palliative Medicine entered mainstream medicine with the start of career training and pathway for doctors hoping to specialise in palliative medicine. Dr Mervyn Koh and Dr Allyn Hum were the first two trainees in the local training system.
Start of specialised services – formation of non-cancer related advanced medical home hospice care.
Lien Centre for Palliative Care
Together with the Agency for Integrated Care, the National Health Care group brought in a team of experts to help set up a system for Advance Care Planning and honouring end-of-life wishes or people. This is now a national programme called Living Matters.
Project CARE (Care At the end-of-life for Residents in Elderly Homes) was started.
Singapore was ranked 18th out of 40 countries in Quality of Death Index by the Economist Intelligence Unit, commissioned by the Lien Foundation. However, it was obvious in the report that there is an absence of a National Strategy in Palliative Care providing direction for its development.
National Strategy for Palliative Care was drafted, providing MOH and the community with a strategic plan required to move hospice and palliative care forward.
Jan 2012 – Dover Park Hospice started home hospice care
Apr 2012 – Star PALS
Apr 2012 – Specialist Diploma in Palliative Nursing
Start of Specialist Diploma in Palliative Nursing – a tripartite between NCC, Ngee Ann Polytechnic and DPH.
The National Guidelines for Palliative Care was adopted by the Ministry of Health and its implementation was left to the Singapore Hospice Council.