September 6, 2016





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.


Feb 1992

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.

Dec 1995

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.


May 1999 National Cancer Centre

National Cancer Centre sets up the first Department of Palliative Medicine in Singapore.


Jul 2001 – Metta Hospice

Metta Hospice started providing home hospice service.


2002 – NUS Palliative care curriculum

Palliative Care in the NUS Undergraduate Medical Curriculum was set up.

Jun 2002–Bright Vision Hospital

Bright Vision Hospital opened with 32 in-patient hospice beds.


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

Lien Centre for Palliative Care was incorporated with funds from the Lien Foundation, a collaboration between Duke-NUS medical school, Singhealth and National Cancer Centre.


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

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

Dover Park Hospice introduced home hospice care as part of an integrated care system with Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

Apr 2012 – Star PALS

Star PALs – a specialized programme for paediatric patients was started by HCA Hospice Care.

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.


In the second Quality of Death Index, Singapore was ranked 12th place out of 80 countries.

St Andrew’s Community Hospital

Sub-acute Palliative Care wards were introduced into Community Hospitals, starting with St Andrew’s Community Hospital.


 16th member of Singapore Hospice Council.


17th member of Singapore Hospice Council