17 hospices created in Shanghai

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The pilot program for the creation of 17 hospices in the 17 districts of Shanghai was issued by the Shanghai Municipal Health Bureau. 

The program is one of the first steps towards developing hospice care within Shanghai.

Previously only 50 beds in total were dedicated to hospice care, spread across two hospitals.

Most hospitals were not equipped to handle hospice care patients, and were oversubscribed, according to Cheng Wenwu, the director of the Shanghai Cancer Center. 

Local health bureau statistics suggest that 36,000 patients need hospice care in Shanghai each year. 

The new guidelines mean that each of the 17 local districts must set up at least one hospice in a community center, with two doctors, four registered nurses and at least 10 beds solely for use for end-of-life care. 

These hospices were advised to take on support from volunteers and medical social workers. 

Hospices and end-of-life care initiatives are slowly gaining acceptance in China, despite a number of social and cultural barriers.

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