Lien Centre for Palliative Care


In a rapidly ageing society, the need for palliative care rises with each passing year.

The Lien Centre for Palliative Care is a collaboration between the Lien Foundation and Duke-NUS Medical School. The first of its kind in Asia, it aims to build up a strong pool of palliative care professionals to enhance service delivery through enlightened research. The Centre leverages upon the research, educational, clinical and philanthropic leadership and expertise of the following institutions: Lien Foundation, Duke-NUS Medical School, the National Cancer Centre Singapore and Singapore Health Services (SingHealth).

The Lien Foundation initiated the setting up of the Centre with a S$7.5 million commitment over a period of five years. The sum was matched dollar-for-dollar by the Singapore government. Additional resources were provided by the National Cancer Centre Singapore and SingHealth. In 2014, the Lien Foundation renewed their commitment for Phase II of the Centre’s activities, with a generous donation of 7.5 million. 

Focus of Work

The Lien Centre for Palliative Care has research programmes looking into clinical, social and cultural aspects of palliative care in Singapore and Asia. It also focuses on palliative care education and development of healthcare professionals. Singapore’s National Strategy for Palliative Care has identified the need for improved education and training of health care providers in palliative care. During Phase II the Centre will focus on addressing the gaps in existing training programmes for allied health professionals in palliative care, with the end goal of improving palliative care locally. 

The Centre has access to the Health Services Research capabilities of the Duke-NUS Medical School and nurtures collaborations with Duke University’s internationally renowned end-of-life and palliative care research programs. The current/upcoming research at the centre focuses on four themes (1) Understanding and meeting patient/caregiver preferences regarding end-of-life care, (2) communication at the end of life, (3) end-of-life care financing and delivery models, and (4) pain and symptom management at the end of life. The Centre also benefits from the active involvement of the clinical team at the National Cancer Centre Singapore and administrative support from SingHealth.

The programs are aimed at improving services and care at the end of life by:

• Helping to inform decision-makers on health care policies affecting the end of life.

• Studying the needs and cultural differences in the various ethnic communities in Singapore

• Broadening the base of trained expertise in palliative care and research

Duke-NUS Medical School owns and manages the Lien Centre for Palliative Care, which reports to a board chaired by Dr Jennifer Lee (currently Chairman, Agency for Integrated Care).