“Hospice” comes from the Latin word “hospitium” meaning “guesthouse”. For many centuries, hospices were known as places of rest for weary travellers. This concept of hospices changed when, in 19th century Ireland and London, a religious order established hospices as places of care for the dying. Then, in 1967, Dame Cicely Saunders founded the modern hospice movement when she set up the first modern hospice, St. Christopher’s Hospice, in London.
Around the World
The hospice movement made such great impacts that, today, there are thousands of hospice services in Europe and North America. The modern concept of hospices is also becoming increasingly important in Asia Pacific countries. The Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network (APHN) was established in late 2001 to link all those who are interested in developing hospice and palliative care services in this region. To date, there are over 800 members representing some 500 hospice services in over 20 countries, including Australia, Bangladesh, Japan, Mongolia, Pakistan and Singapore. The APHN secretariat is based in Singapore.