Lien Collaborative for Palliative Care Training in Timor-Leste
The feasibility study did not take place this year due to the COVID-19 situation. In December 2019, Dr. Flavio Brandao, Dr. Mendes Pinto, and Dr. Ana Magno from Hospital Nacional Guido Valadares visited Singapore to learn how their hospitals could be developed in areas including palliative care. Dr. Goh connected them to Singapore General Hospital and the National Cancer Centre Singapore, who agreed to help them with setting up radiation therapy in HNGV.
Although Timor-Leste is not an IAEA member, the team advised them to apply for membership as an essential first step. IAEA is the most useful international organization to help them develop cancer treatment, particularly radiation treatment, as it has the expertise, funding, and other resources needed to help set up radiotherapy. The IAEA uses expertise from countries like Singapore to help countries in Asia develop radiotherapy capabilities.
One histopathologist and one technician from Timor-Leste were scheduled to receive training at SGH in January 2020 through funding from Timor-Leste’s Ministry of Health. However, the plan was postponed due to the pandemic.
In November 2022, a scoping team visited Hospital Nacional Guido Valadares in Dili, Timor Leste's largest referral hospital, to assess the viability of a palliative care capacity building program as part of the Lien Collaborative for Palliative Care Programme. The team was hosted by Timorese Minister of Health Excellency Ministra Dr. Odete Freitas Belo and the Executive Director of HNGV, Dr. Alito Soares. Dr. Odete shared their appreciation for the recently formulated Palliative Care National Strategy for Timor Leste and affirmed that the Lien Collaborative Training will be beneficial to the development of their palliative care services through upskilling of their doctors and nurses. The Lien collaborative team, consisting of Dr. Sylvia McCarthy (Malaysia), Dr. Naveen Salins (India), Dr. Frank Brennan (Australia), Sr. Joan Ryan (Australia), Mr. Giam Cheong Leong (Singapore), and Trudy Giam (Singapore), has been formed to start the training module in April 2023.