Welcome to the webpage of the International Primary Palliative Care Network.

The Network comprises general practitioners, family practitioners, and researchers from a range of disciplines including social sciences and oncology from several countries. Every continent is represented in our membership.

The aim of the group is to provide collegiate support to like-minded individuals, who are committed to see palliative care practiced as a core part of comprehensive primary care practice. This involves advocating for improved recognition of the role of primary care in the delivery of palliative care. The group also aims to encourage primary palliative care researchers to present their work and to explore the possibilities of international collaboration. Finally, the group recognises the huge need for palliative care in developing countries and hope to assist local practitioners in these areas to develop sustainable and effective services.

If you have any questions or comments then please click here.

Latest issue (May 2018) of the IPPCN newsletter

Click here to download the latest issue (May 2018) of the IPPCN newsletter.

Primary Palliative Care takes centre stage at the World Rural Health Conference in Delhi

By Dr Sulagna Mitra

The 15th World Rural Health Conference was held in New Delhi, India from 26th - 29th April 2018. The theme of the conference was 'Healing the Heart of Healthcare: Leaving No One Behind,' acknowledging the importance of rural family practice and primary care in achieving Universal Health Coverage. The Academy of Family Physicians of India (AFPI) was invited by the WONCA Working Party on Rural Practice to host the conference in collaboration with WONCA Rural South Asia (WoRSA). The development of primary palliative care formed an important and integral part of the proceedings, with a number of notable presentations.

AFPI and IAPC (Indian Association of Palliative care) with the help of IPPCN have recently completed a Joint Position Paper on Palliative Care entitled “The way forward for developing community based palliative care programs throughout India: policy, education and service delivery considerations” which is due to be published in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care. Dr Sulagna Mitra, from Kolkota, presented the Joint Position Paper on behalf of AFPI, IAPC and IPPCN. The paper was endorsed by the conference and highlighted as an important step forward for Rural WONCA international policy by Dr Alan Bruce Chater, Secretary WONCA Working Party on Rural Practice.

Dr Jeremy Johnson a palliative care physician from UK, who has been aiding the development of palliative care programmes and policies in South India gave a keynote address “Global Palliative Care: Needs and Challenges” setting our many of the issues which family medicine and palliative care clinicians jointly need to address. He also resented a workshop on symptom control with Dr John-Wynn-Jones, Chair Rural-WONCA and a chaired a panel discussion on developing rural palliative care policy. Finally, he launched ‘PALLIKARE’ a palliative care App specifically designed to rural doctors. This is available for download in iOS and Android format.

Dr Daniel Munday, also from UK, but working in Nepal, launched SPICT-LISTM and presented the development work for developing the tool, which is designed to assist generalist clinicians to identify people in low-income settings who could benefit from palliative care.

Other highlights of the conference included a workshop on Pain and Palliative Care which was led by Dr Priyanka Kundra and oral paper presentations on palliative and domiciliary rural care in Brazil by Ana Júlia Araújo de Carvalho and Sexuality and Palliative Care by João Rodrigues Ribeiro, also from Brazil. Dr Ribeiro also presented an e-poster on Palliative Care Consultation in a Rural Primary Care Unit.

Changes to the leadership of IPPCN - last words from the previous Co-Chairs

Dear Colleagues,

After 12 most enjoyable years, we are handing over the reins of the International Primary Palliative Care Network to Alan Barnard and Sebastien Moine. Our network, which began on the veranda of Geoff’s house in Brisbane, has grown organically over the years.

We have enjoyed annual meetings around the world from USA to Africa. Sometimes we have met at Primary care meetings, and sometimes at Palliative Care meetings. This has allowed us to advocate for palliative care at primary care conferences, and vice-versa. We now have a thriving internationally-leading enthusiastic group advocating for more palliative care in primary care. It has been great, encouraging each other. We have made life-long friendships along the way. The WHO looked to our group for guidance, and we fed into the tremendous resolution from them in 2014 that palliative care should be integrated with disease management in all member countries. Primary palliative care is on the map!

As Alan and Sebastien start to co-chair our group, we encourage you all to consider taking an active role, helping to extend the reach and influence for the good of the group. It is so strategically important as we approach 2020. Our group made it possible to start the EAPC Primary Care Reference Group which is very active with a toolkit useful for stimulating and co-ordinating developments at national level in our individual countries. Maybe we can hold some regional meetings and networks to support each other, so that we can reach every single country for palliative care in the community.

Best wishes,

Scott Murray and Geoff Mitchell

In honour of Scott Murray and Geoff Mitchell - from Alan Barnard (new Co-Chair)

Dear colleagues and friends,

It is with much gratitude that we honour Scott Murray and Geoff Mitchell as the founding co-chairs of the International Primary Palliative Care Network.

Thank you very much to Scott and Geoff for their vision and determination to see the IPPCN start and grow as an international network of people committed to the enterprise of bringing excellent palliative care to more patients, more clinics and more health systems.

The fact that generalist palliative care and especially primary palliative care, has a wide reach into many clinical situations and can be practiced by all members of the team spreads the burden of care, advocacy, education and research.

Sebastien and I will each share our own stories of how we became involved and how the IPPCN has been influential in our practices and how we have been able to be influential through the contacts and networking opportunities that have been available over the years.

Warm regards,

Alan Barnard

Alan's IPPCN Story

Written by Alan Barnard (Co-Chair IPPCN)

I found an interesting paper in the BMJ in late 2005 and wrote to the lead author to ask for permission to use it in some teaching. That email was just the first step in my involvement with Scott Murray and later Geoff Mitchell. We have become firm friends, co-authors of publications in primary palliative care, conference organisers, academic support colleagues, networkers and advocates for palliative care being practiced as close to the people who need it as possible.

The EAPC Toolkit for the Development of Palliative Care in the Community is an excellent example of how the primary care approach can be applied and contextualised. This is the outcome of collaborative work at conferences and other meetings which was compiled and completed by the members of IPPCN under the leadership of Scott Murray and Geoff Mitchell.

Further collaborative projects and publications have been undertaken in India and address the need for education in palliative care to reach all medical professionals, and especially those who are generalists and a productive relationship between the palliative care movement and the family medicine association and borne much fruit.

I have been fortunate to arrange a seminar on primary palliative care in Cape Town and to host the IPPCN meeting here. Many in the group went on to attend the meeting of APCA in Namibia that year (2010) We considered palliative care from the point of view of the unequal societies of Africa. Redefining our own preconceptions of palliative care and integrating the ideas of palliative care into HIV and drug resistant tuberculosis has been a later contribution, with members from South Africa and Nepal working together on a palliative care indicator tool for low and middle-income settings – the SPICT-LIS. There was much work between this limited exposure to palliative care and the current outcome, but I look back and see the link. Again, Scott Murray was instrumental in this process with his experience in Africa many years before giving impetus to our work together.

Meeting like-minded professionals from all corners of the world at conferences, though mutual interest and our motivation to bring impeccable palliative care as close to the patients and families that need it as possible still motivates me. Family medicine, primary care, general practice or first contact care all serve to meet this need, so we must press on towards the goal.


First developed in Edinburgh, Supportive and Palliative Care Indicators Tool (SPICT) is in use throughout the world to assist clinicians in identifying patients with palliative and supportive care needs. A version of SPICT has now been developed specifically for use in low-income settings. For more information, please visit https://www.spict.org.uk/the-spict/spict-lis/

IPPCN Newsletter

The 4th edition of the IPPCN Newsletter is available for download

Conference Calendar

 Month Conference Date Details
 May 2018 EAPC research conference
Bern, Switzerland
 26-28 May 2018 Plenary and parallel sessions

EAPC Primary Palliative Care Steering Group

The vision of this newly formed group is that 'Palliative care is fully integrated in primary care systems internationally so that all patients have early access to a palliative care approach in the community'. The input from specialists in palliative care to enable a palliative care approach to be available in the community is critical, and we are confident that the establishment of this group by the EAPC will support the necessary leadership from SPC to support the work of this group.

The first meeting, that took place on Friday 10 June 2016 during the EAPC Research Congress in Dublin, was an enthusiastic meeting attended by a lot of IPPCN members. Primary Palliative Care also featured strongly at the EAPC conference held in Madrid, Spain between 18th and 21st May 2017. 

We have also been invited to offer plenary and parallel sessions at the EAPC research conference that will be held in Bern, Switzerland between 26th and 28th May 2018 where Steffen Eychmüller is chairing the scientific committee.

Recent Announcements

Showing posts 1 - 2 of 4. View more »

Recent News and Events

  • Recent publications A very personal (and professional) reflection by Scott Murray on the importance of early palliative (or anticipatory) care was published in the June edition of the BMJ.The March edition of the Scandinavian Journal of Primary Healthcare have published an article by Trine Brogaard, Mette Neergaard and Scott Murray, which describes calls for primary palliative care throughout Scandinavia!In the March edition of EJPC Santiago Corrêa et al describes the initiative ‘We are by your side’ that he has been involved in to formalise primary palliative care in Brazil. A review article by Afshar et al. from Germany elucidates the importance of optimising the identification of non-cancer patients in need of palliative care in general practice.Two recent publications ...
    Posted Apr 10, 2018, 5:08 PM by Joel Rhee
  • Advancing palliative care in Lebanon: Balsam This short film was produced by Balsam - the Lebanese Center for Palliative Care with the aim of clarifying the concept of palliative care and increasing awareness about the work that they are doing to advance palliative care in Lebanon.
    Posted Apr 10, 2018, 5:07 PM by Joel Rhee
  • News from Brazil The project 'Being by your side' is a pioneering initiative in Primary Palliative Care in Brazil, started by the family doctor, Santiago Rodríguez Correa and nurse, Carla Mazuko.It was registered as extension project of Fundação Universidade Federal do Rio Grande and is supported by the University of Edinburgh, the University of Queensland and the IPPCN. Read all about it here (original article in Portugese can be accessed here). They also have a Facebook page. As part of the World Hospice and Palliative Care Day (10th October), EAPC has also published a blog about their efforts here.
    Posted Apr 10, 2018, 5:07 PM by Joel Rhee
  • Palliative Care News from around the globe An interesting and thought-provoking article on the development of palliative care in Uganda, Africa and Serbia.
    Posted Apr 10, 2018, 5:06 PM by Joel Rhee
  • News from France An interesting article by Dr Sébastien Moine was published in the BMJ about the development of Palliative Care in France and the role played by Primary Care.
    Posted Apr 10, 2018, 5:05 PM by Joel Rhee
Showing posts 1 - 5 of 20. View more »

Recent Newsletters

  • IPPCN_Newsletter_Issue_5May2018.pdf   1426k - May 21, 2018, 9:57 PM by Joel Rhee (v1)
  • IPPCN_Issue4_Autumn.pdf   231k - Dec 12, 2016, 1:53 PM by Joel Rhee (v1)
  • IPPCN Newsletter Issue 3.pdf   101k - Jul 6, 2016, 5:32 AM by Joel Rhee (v1)
  • IPPCN Newsletter Issue 2.pdf   78k - Jul 6, 2016, 5:32 AM by Joel Rhee (v1)
  • IPPCN Newsletter Issue 1.pdf   145k - Jul 6, 2016, 5:31 AM by Joel Rhee (v1)
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