The number of patients under home palliative care has trebled since 2009, to about 5,000 today.

The majority of these are cancer patients, but the Health Ministry is keen to work with providers to expand the service to more patients with other terminal illnesses.

Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor shared this last night at this year's Voices for Hospices Charity Concert at Singapore Polytechnic.

More will need to be done, she said, with demand for palliative care expected to double by 2020, when more than 10,000 patients per year will require palliative care.

"Many patients want to be cared for and to pass on in the comfort of their own homes, surrounded by family and loved ones."

Nine organisations currently provide in-patient and home palliative care. The largest among them are HCA Hospice Care which looks after about 3,000 people a year, Assisi Hospice which tends to 1,000, and Dover Park Hospice, which handles 700.

The Health Ministry is supporting the redevelopment of Assisi Hospice, which will more than double its bed capacity from 37 to 85 by 2016. Dover Park Hospice increased its number of beds from 40 to 50 last year.

On what was World Hospice and Palliative Care Day, Dr Khor also paid tribute to palliative care doctors, nursessocial workers and volunteers, who help ease the suffering of the dying.

She said: "I have seen for myself that your work is physically and emotionally demanding. But it is because of you that patients are able to live well till their last day."

The funds raised from yesterday's concert will go towards training of caregivers and raising public awareness about palliative care.