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A note from our CEO & Medical Director, Dr Akhilesh
12 January 2015

2014 was a significant year for HCA as we completed 25 years of service to patients and caregivers. That is a long journey by any means.

However, I was recently made to realize that little awareness of our services exists locally today, even among those who are in need of such services.

I was invited to speak to a committee that was interested in finding out about patients and caregivers who despite needing help could not get it in time as they did not meet the required criteria for various funding agencies.

Another speaker, also invited to share her views with the same committee, spoke about her elderly father with advanced cancer who had wished to spend his final days in his own home. Not having heard or known of home hospice services her father spent his last days in the confines of a hospital and passed away there.

The family had the means to support him, so finance was not a problem. But the whole family felt that they had let their father down as they had been unable to fulfill his last wish of passing away at home. This lady was keen to help such patients and was surprised when I spoke about HCA’s Home Hospice program and its existence in Singapore over the last 25 years!

This is not an isolated instance and from time to time, I still see the surprised looks on the faces of caregivers or others when they hear about our services. So, despite having cared for more than 55,000 patients since we commenced our services, there is much more to be done in terms of increasing the awareness of our services within the community.

Here are two simple things you can do to help us reach out to more people so that no one is denied the benefit of such services when they really need it:

  • If you are a staff, volunteer or well-wisher of HCA, you could ask yourself if you really know about all the services that HCA offers. If you are not sure, please visit our website – www.hca.org.sg or clarify your doubts with someone who works in our service. .
  • Then share what you learnt about the service with a friend or anyone else who you think may not have this information and may not really know or understand these services well enough. It does not necessarily have to be someone who could benefit from the service.

If you take that small step today and complete the two things that have been requested, you would have already taken a big step towards increasing the awareness of HCA’s services within the community.

I am sure you will find inspiring stories in this edition of HCA Connect to keep you motivated in whatever you do for HCA in any of the services that it offers.

Here’s wishing that 2015 is an enriching and rewarding year for all of you.

Let us know if you have anything to say to Dr Akhilesh by emailing us at communications@hcahospicecare.org.sg!