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Singapore wins bid to host Asia Pacific Hospice Conference in 2017

Singapore has recently been selected as the venue for the Asia Pacific Hospice Conference 2017. The Asia Pacific Hospice Conference (AHPC) 2017 is a regional event with a strong Singapore presence, with the organising association based in Singapore. Spanning 4 days, the event is expecting 1200 participants.

In putting together the bid for this event, the Singapore Exhibition & Convention BureauTM (SECB) worked closely with members of the local industry including some local players. Like most association conferences, the decision to hold it in Singapore was not merely based on Singapore’s excellent world-class meeting infrastructure, but also on support provided by the local healthcare community and relevant government agencies such as the Ministry of Health and SECB.

This conference is particularly relevant given that Asia, as a region, is facing an unprecedented pace of population ageing. In response to this trend, healthcare professionals, policy-makers, and caregivers are exploring new strategies and operational models. Even before 2017, Singapore will see significant events in the area of Ageing and Rehabilitation (Rehab).

Building on the success of the Inaugural Asian Conference on Integrated Care 2011, the Singapore Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) held its first World Congress on Integrated Care 2013 (WCIC) in November 2013. The event which was attended by more than 1,000 social and healthcare practitioners from 30 countries looked at sustainable, long-term care provisions to support the care needs of an ageing population, which many countries around the world are or will experience in future. The event was anchored by renowned experts of integrated care who helmed a series of symposiums and workshops, sharing ideas on success factors and development plans.

In 2014, the Singapore Physiotherapy Association is holding the Singapore International Physiotherapy Conference, in conjunction with its 50th anniversary. Then in May 2015, Singapore will welcome the world’s biggest and most important international event for physiotherapists, the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) Congress. This will be the first time that the WCPT Congress is being held in Southeast Asia, and the event is expected to attract more than 4,000 physiotherapists from around the world.

“Singapore’s strength as an ideal meetings destination goes beyond the city’s excellent meeting infrastructure. Our local associations play a strong role in determining the strength of our bid to host important and mega events. This is especially so in an industry such as healthcare, that Singapore is strong in. These events in ageing and rehabilitation will not only bring industry professionals to our shores for the exchange of cutting-edge knowledge but also influence how we approach these issues that are close to our hearts,” said Ms Jeannie Lim, Executive Director, Exhibitions & Conferences and Conventions & Meetings, Singapore Tourism Board.

“This will be the first time we are having the WCPT Congress in Southeast Asia and we are excited about the prospect of meeting many of our Asian and international peers. The physiotherapy profession in Singapore has progressed in the past few years, and the demand for physiotherapy care is expected to rise in the coming years. The hosting of the WCPT Congress will help Singapore to learn from and exchange knowledge with international experts in the field, strengthen the profile of the physiotherapy profession and raise the standards of care in Singapore,” said Mr Dinesh Verma, President, Singapore Physiotherapy Association.

Across Singapore, training for the ageing and rehab workforce is being ramped up. MOH will be setting up a national Geriatric Education and Research Institute, which will develop, coordinate and implement initiatives to strengthen geriatric education and research. It will also work with clinicians and stakeholders on clinical services planning and care coordination efforts for elderly patients in Singapore. Moreover, rehab components are being added to the undergraduate medical curriculum, and local degree are being developed and upgraded through programmes with the Singapore Institute of Technology and Trinity College Dublin for Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists. These training measures would serve to increase the number of ageing and rehab experts in Singapore, and also increase the quality of care from the healthcare workforce.

“It is an exciting time for ageing and rehabilitation health services in Singapore, and international conferences like the WCPT Congress and APHC will further provide important training opportunities for both local and regional therapy and rehab practitioners. Adding to the vibrancy of the local healthcare community, the date of our association’s 50th anniversary and the Singapore International Physiotherapy Congress in 2014 coincides with the dates for the WCPT Congress in 2015. This means that fellow healthcare professionals can always associate 1-4 May as important dates for the rehab therapy community. We look forward to the WCPT Congress, when Singapore can do our part for the international physiotherapy community,” said Mr Verma.

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