2021 Oceanic Palliative Care Conference Statement

Over 1000 delegates from across the globe attended the 2021 Virtual Oceanic Palliative Care Conference (21OPCC) on 7-10 September 2021.  21OPCC’s theme, Invest Challenge Change, builds on the continuing global push to ensure that we build better, more resilient health systems designed to meet critical health and palliative care needs in normal circumstances, and are sufficiently resourced to meet needs during times of emergency and crisis.

Conference delegates identified the priority actions that represent their commitment to ensuring access to quality palliative care for all, across all Oceanic nations.


  • Build the palliative care workforce by investing in training and mentoring, position establishment and retention strategies to ensure sufficient specialist palliative care physicians, nursing, allied health professionals and volunteers across the Oceanic region to deliver high quality, culturally appropriate palliative care.
  • Invest in sustainable regional and international collaborative partnerships to facilitate the exchange of knowledge, support development of quality palliative care services and access to essential medications across the Oceanic region.
  • Invest in telehealth and technology to ensure people with palliative care needs and families, clinicians and services are connected in meaningful ways that supplement face-to-face care, and facilitate strong communication channels.
  • Invest in staffing, education, and systems to ensure that quality end of life is core business across all aged care and disability care settings.
  • Increase investment in palliative care and end-of-life research and data collection and data sets, to ensure contemporary evidence informs policy and practice.
  • Fund evidence-based grief and bereavement services for families and carers across all palliative care services in hospitals, aged care and in the community.
  • Invest in targeted palliative care outreach services that provide care and support to people who are homeless.


  • Critically challenge legislative frameworks to ensure they support the right to palliative care for all who need it, when they need it, and where they need it.
  • Challenge the barriers that contribute to community silence around death, dying, palliative care, and grief and loss.
  • Challenge funding and service models which cause inequity of access to quality palliative care services based on geography, gender, sexuality, bodily diversity, disability, cultural identity, values, socio-economic status, housing status, incarceration, age and stage in life-limiting illness.
  • Challenge governments in the region to strive for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) which includes palliative care.
  • Challenge education providers to ensure that the palliative care is part of all undergraduate medical, nursing and allied health degrees.


  • Change any practices within health and aged care systems that inhibit early referral to palliative care services.
  • Change all pandemic, disaster and crisis preparedness, planning and response to be inclusive of the role of palliative care and the needs of those requiring palliative care.
  • Change policies and practice so that the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in Australia, and Indigenous and culturally diverse peoples across the Oceanic region are addressed, and members of these communities have their end-of-life care wishes and preferences met.
  • Change existing structures of opioid and essential medicine policy, delivery and access if these limit evidence-based pain and symptom management, and access in the persons care location of choice.
  • Change policies and practices so that the specific palliative care needs of infants, children and young adults are recognised and met.


2021 Oceanic Palliative Care Conference Statement PDF final