The Penang Hospice Society was registered in 2001 and functions as a charitable non-governmental organization in the community. Currently it provides holistic medical care in the homes of patients with advanced life limiting diseases, mainly cancer along with non- cancer patients. This service is called the Hospice at Home Program (HHP). A multi- disciplinary team of nurses, doctors and lay volunteers visit the patient at his/her home to address the problems of the patient be they physical such as pain, psycho-social, or spiritual with the aim of reducing suffering while at the same time helping the family cope. This innovative community service covers anyone who needs such help living in the state of Penang. No charges are made for home visits.
It was initiated in March 1992 by the National Cancer Society of Malaysia, Penang Branch (NCSMPB) and handed over to the Penang Hospice Society in January 2010.
The NCSMPB also set up the first inpatient hospice program by an NGO in Malaysia with eight beds in 2001. This service was a short term facility with similar objectives as outlined above in the section “Eligibility For Care”. The average period of stay was seven days. About a third died while the rest improved and sent back for home care. It was a free service and had to be discontinued in 2009 because of lack of funds.
Advocate and enable palliative care for all in need in Penang
“ Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual. ”
(World Health Organization 2002 / Appendix 1)