Post Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care (PGCPC)


Palliative Medicine is one of the developing medical specialties. It has been recognized by World Health Organization (WHO) and defined as an approach that improves quality of life of patients and their families facing life-threatening illness through prevention and relief of suffering employing identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems as physical, psychosocial and spiritual.

In United Kingdom, General Medical Council has held doctors guilty of serious professional misconduct because they had been unable to provide Palliative Medicine or refer for specialist Palliative Medicine. The concept of Palliative Medicine is not new. In 460 BC, Hippocrates became the father of Medicine by providing simple symptom relief. In the modern world, many developed countries do not consider Cancer services provision appropriate until the services have the back up of Palliative Medicine teams. Many developing countries, including some Muslim countries, also recognize the need for Palliative Medicine.

In Pakistan, the concept of palliative care is like a new-born baby who needs a lot of attention. According to the Global burden of diseases (2010), it is estimated that by 2025 there will be 3.9 million deaths in people aged between 30 to 69 years in Pakistan due to NCDs including cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, cancer, diabetes mellitus and mental health illnesses.

Low allocation of budget for healthcare services in a country with over 200 million population of which almost fifty percent people living below or close to the poverty line, lack of courses in medical training and drastic diversity in cultural changes demand this course, in Pakistan where the concept of palliative care in hospitals is in infancy stages, to be organized to equip and enrich our healthcare providers with the concept and hands-on training of palliative care.


The NUMS PG- Certificate in Palliative Care is designed to develop knowledge, skills and confidence of Health care professionals to care for patients and their families who have life limiting illnesses. The course is designed for a variety of registered adult healthcare professionals within primary and secondary care. It will contribute to and enhance abilities of Health care professionals to lead and drive clinically effective care with patients having advanced disease.


To improve the capabilities of health care providers to deliver compassionate palliative care for patients living with a life-limiting illness and their families, through physical, emotional, spiritual, psychological and social support.

To work towards specialist palliative care service with guidelines based on experience of various existing services in Pakistan and UK which would consist of:

  • Prepare guidelines/pathways for end of life care for medical staff and care- givers.
  • Provide education and training to local and national health care professionals interested in palliative care.


At the completion of certificate program, the participants will be able to:

  • Apply independently the Palliative Care approach techniques to all patients with terminal illnesses to the conduct and expectations of the profession (Skills, Professional ethics)
  • Identify, formulate, and provide effective solutions to different types of pain (Critical thinking).
  • Define code status of the patient as a team (Teamwork).
  • Demonstrate the competency independently to develop rapport and trust with patients and families, and peers (Skill, Communication, Team work)


  • 16 Years of Education in relevant discipline with:
    • MBBS/BDS (we strongly recommend interns, residents, primary health physician, doctors involved in Oncology/ICU patient care)
    • BS Nursing (nurses working in oncology, home health services, ICU, internal medicine or any other department involved in managing palliative care patients)
    • Doctor of Physiotherapy, Doctor of Pharmacy, BS/MS in Public Health, BS Social Sciences, BS Psychology, BS Behavioral Sciences, BS Anthropology and Allied Health Sciences.
  • Valid registration with regulatory body, wherever applicable

Eligibility for Award of Certificate:

  • Passing marks: 50% and above in final aggregate.


  • Curriculum Outline:

The basics and advance management of palliative care will be divided into 4- courses.

  1. Introduction to Palliative Care
  2. Ethical issues at the end of life
  3. Public health and palliative care
  4. Symptom management

This program is of 12 credit hours; details are given in the table below.

Online Contact Session

Once in a week

(Lecture or chat box)


Pre-recorded lectures, case studies, forum discussion, reading material and assignments

Online Contact Session

Once in a week

(Lecture or chat box)


Pre-recorded lectures, case studies, forum discussion, reading material and assignments

Course 301

Course 302

Course 303

Course 304



5 weeks

(3 credit hrs)

6 weeks

(3 credit hrs)


6 weeks

(3 credit hrs)

7 weeks

(3 credit hrs)


  • Overview of learning and Instruction:

This is a 26-week online certificate program with hybrid workshop.

  1. 24-week self-study model with synchronous online sessions : This program comprises of prerecorded video lectures by palliative care /oncology experts and interactive online teaching sessions.
  2. Online learning of 24 weeks is conducted via NUMS digital e-learning portal, accessible to faculty and participants through their personal accounts.
  3. A hybrid workshop on communication skill is conducted at NUMS campus. In this workshop participants from Rawalpindi and Islamabad participate physically whereas rest of the participant participate through zoom link.


Commencements of Program


26 weeks


12 credits

Number of Courses


Starting Date (Tentative)

November 18 2022

NUMS Tuition Fee Structure

Registration Fee

PKR 2000/

Tuition Fee for Consultants

PKR 55,000

Tuition Fee Residents and Juniors

PKR 50,000


PKR 33,000





Dr Nafisa Tahir

Prof of Medicine NUMS


Dr Rimsha Azhar

Assistant Professor, CTU

MBBS, FCPS (Medicine)

Dr Muhammad A Butt

Consultant Oncologist UK


Dr Muhammad Saeed

Consultant Palliative Care KSA


Dr Humaira Jamal

Consultant Palliative Care


Dr Qamar Abas

Medical Director, St Clare’s Hospice, UK


Dr Fawad Ahmed

Consultant Palliative Care KSA


Dr Tayyaba Irshad

Consultant Palliative Care USA


Dr Farhan Zahid Khawaja

Consultant oncologist UK


Dr Sadaf Mudassir

Founder- SPPP, GP-UK


Dr Maimoona

Senior Registrar Palliative Care UK


Dr Bilal Malik

Senior Registrar Dermatology UK




Core Team Tutors mentioned above plus following faculty



Dr Haroon Hafeez

Consultant Oncologist SKH Lahore

Dr James Grose

Consultant palliative care, UK

Dr Nicky Bailhache


Dr Zafar Javed

Consultant Palliative Care UAE