Palliative Medicine Department

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.

Palliative Care @ TTSH

Comprising a multi-disciplinary team of doctors, nurses, social workers and pharmacists, we work together to improve the quality of life of patients diagnosed with life-limiting illnesses such as advanced cancers and organ failure.


Patient Profile

Palliative Medicine is for patients with, but not limited to:

  • Advanced cancer
  • Cancer with pain or other symptoms
  • End stage organ failure

Scope of Service

Our multi-disciplinary palliative care team works to relieve suffering and improve the quality of life for our patients. Services provided include:

  • Inpatient Palliative Care Services
    Our team of doctors, nurses, social workers and pharmacists conducts regular ward rounds to ensure that patients’ symptoms are well managed. Family members are encouraged to engage the team for their loved ones’ care plan.
  • Dedicated Palliative Care Ward
    Tan Tock Seng Hospital operates a specialised 13-single bedded Palliative Care ward to cater to the unique needs of frail and symptomatic patients. Equipped with specially-trained palliative care nurses and therapists, the team provides symptom management and End-Of-Life care support.
  • Outpatient Palliative Care Services
    Consultations and follow-up are available in our Palliative Care Clinic. For appointments, please call 6889 4747 / 6889 4534.
  • Care Continuity
    We collaborate with Hospice partners to ensure seamless care transition for patients who transit to home or to inpatient hospices to receive palliative care. Some of the hospices which we partner with include Dover Park Hospice, Assisi Hospice and HCA Hospice Care.
  • Art therapy
    Our HEaling ART (HEART) programme was started in 2017, with the aim of providing art therapy to patients under palliative care. Art therapy is  form of psychotherapy that uses art as a medium to address confusing and distressing emotional issues. Creating art provides our patients a chance to connect with others in non-verbal ways, and to give them choice and autonomy in a difficult time that is often isolating. You can support the HEART programme by make a donation.
  • Music therapy
    Music therapy is the systematic use of music within a therapeutic relationship which aims at restoring, maintaining and furthering emotional, physical and mental health in palliative care. It has been shown to alleviate pain and symptoms, improve anxiety and depression, and enhance communication. We are working on bringing music therapy to our patients, to utilise the social and communicative nature of music to bring about positive changes in mood and encourage emotional release.



Advance Care Planning (ACP)

Advance Care Planning is a voluntary process of discussion on future care preferences between an individual, his or her family and healthcare providers.

Tan Tock Seng Hospital | Oncology Services

Tan Tock Seng Hospital offers an array of oncology services on our premises. For more information, please visit:

World Hospice and Palliative Care Day 2016

World Hospice & Palliative Care Day (WHPCD) is a day which brings healthcare professionals and the community together to celebrate and support hospice and palliative care around the world. Every year in the month of October, the Palliative Care team in Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) will organise a community outreach event in conjunction with WHPCD, to raise awareness and understanding of the needs of people living with life-limiting illnesses and their families.


Palliative Care Resources

Caregiver Resources

If your loved ones are admitted into Tan Tock Seng Hospital, our Palliative Care team will equip you with the fundamental knowledge on how to look after your loved ones.

The HCA Hospice Care – Palliative Caregivers Programme is recognised by National Council of Social Services (NCSS) as the national palliative caregiver training programme. For more comprehensive palliative caregiver training, please visit HCA Hospice Care.

Tan Tock Seng Hospital Department of Palliative Medicine

Tan Tock Seng Hospital was established in 1844 and is one of the major tertiary hospitals in Singapore with a bed capacity of 1500  beds.

The Palliative Care Department began as a Consult Service of the Geriatric Medicine Department in 1988 and has grown steadily over the years. It officially became The Department of Palliative Medicine in 2007 and started taking its own inpatients in 2009. As of 2014, the department has also developed its own designated 13-bed Palliative Care Inpatient Unit.


If you would like a copy of the Bedside Palliative Medicine Handbook, you can get a copy here.

We currently have a multi-disciplinary team of accredited Palliative Care Physicians, Advanced Practice Nurse and Nurse Clinicians, as well as Social Workers. Our Psychiatrists, Pharmacists, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists also participate in our weekly multi-disciplinary team meeting.

In addition, the team also published the Bedside Palliative Medicine Handbook in 2003, which is a handy guide for physicians who seek to learn about palliative medicine. It paints in broad strokes the fundamentals of palliative care, and delves deeper to expound on pain faced by patients undergoing cancer therapy and covers the drug formulary of commonly used drugs in palliative medicine.

Programme Overview

The aim of the programme is to equip palliative medicine or other physicians with an interest in palliative care with the core skills in caring for patients and families with life-threatening illnesses in an acute tertiary hospital setting.

It will be a 4 week programme which will allow the visiting physician to be exposed to the various facets of our acute hospital palliative care team – inpatient ward rounds, new palliative care referrals and reviews, outpatient clinics and inter-disciplinary team meetings.

In addition, the visiting physician will also be invited to our regular journal clubs and weekly topic reviews as well as have access to our teaching, educational materials and assessment tools.

As the first acute hospital-based palliative care service to be set up in Singapore, the palliative team at TTSH offers a wealth of experience to those who are keen in starting up their own palliative care services.

Learning Objectives

The aim of the programme is to equip palliative medicine or other physicians with an interest in palliative care with the core skills in caring for patients and families with life-threatening illnesses in an acute tertiary hospital setting.

You will be given the opportunity to learn about these various components of palliative care:

  1. Basic Pain Assessment and Management
  2. Advanced Cancer Pain Management (use of strong opioids including Methadone and Patient-Controlled Analgesia (PCA)
  3. Managing Common Palliative Care conditions (Dyspnea, Delirium, Nausea and Vomiting)
  4. Managing a Dying Patient
  5. Conducting a Family Conference (Breaking Bad News and Extent of Care Discussions)
  6. Learn about self-reflection in palliative care
  7. Multi-disciplinary nature of the palliative care team


Upon completion of the 4 week programme, the participant will receive a certificate from The Department of Palliative Medicine, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, a teaching affiliate of The Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore.


Applicants must have post-graduate certification in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Geriatric Medicine or Palliative Medicine. However we will consider physicians from other specialties on a case by case basis.

The participant must be proficient in both spoken and written English. A phone interview will be conducted as part of the application process.

Application Process

As the application process may take several months. We encourage participants to apply at least 6 months before the start of the programme.

As part of the application process, we would need the following (to be scanned or faxed to our office):

  1. Completed Visiting International Doctor’s Programme Application Form (with attached picture)
  2. True certified copies of your Medical Degree and Post-Graduate Certification and Medical Practice License (from your country).
  3. An updated Curriculum Vitae (CV) of yourself

The staff and faculty of Tan Tock Seng Hospital Department of Palliative Medicine look forward to interacting with you and to your participation in this programme.

For further queries, please contact:
Ms Koh Gek Kiang
Administrative Assistant
Department of Palliative Medicine
Tan Tock Seng Hospital
E-mail :