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To the Editor:
The pandemic COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on public health across the globe. Despite the proximity to China, Taiwan has come out relatively unscathed through this worldwide crisis. Up to 19 May 2021, among the total 24 million people in Taiwan, 14 991 cases were diagnosed as having COVID-19.1 Compared with other epidemic areas, the relatively small inflow of patients with COVID-19 did not burden the healthcare system in Taiwan. However, hospice and palliative care professionals were experiencing a profound change in their daily practice. All the administrative control measures aiming to prevent virus spread also precluded interpersonal communication, which was valued most for a good death in hospice and palliative care. To further clarifying and investigating this ongoing problem, Taiwan Academy of Hospice Palliative Medicine (TAHPM) held a nationwide online meeting for information sharing and problems solving. We categorised important issues and formulated some practical suggestions to maintain the palliative care quality. We prepared this letter with a humble intention to share with experts across the world the nature and the extent of influence we have gone through and also a few lessons learnt. We summarise all issues in table 1, complemented by the following texts.
Maintaining the quality of in-patient palliative care
Since the outbreak, to avoid occurrence of intramural transmission, visitors needed to pass a screening station at the hospital’s doorstep. Those …
Contributors J-ST arranged and launched the online meeting. All authors contributed to the issues and related suggestions in the manuscript, drafting the work and approved the final version submitted and agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work in its accuracy and integrity.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.