CHINA / National

China gears up to improve end-of-life care
Updated: 2006-04-17 08:56

China has set up an association to address the end-of-life care for one of the world's largest aging populations.

The Chinese Association for Life Care would act as a nationwide regulatory organization in the field of end-of-life care, said Li Jiaxi, director of the association at the launch ceremony here Sunday.

The association, composed of medical workers, legal workers, and volunteers, would engage in the development of end-of-life care, palliative care, gerontology research and healthcare for the elderly, Li said.

The mission of the association was to regulate services across the nation, organizing academic communication and domestic and international exchanges to improve the quality of care in China.

"Life care" meant the provision of services for elderly people, especially dying people, and to allow them to die with dignity.

China has three forms of life-care services: a small number of end-of-life care hospitals; about 200 end-of-life wards in medical institutions; and hospices.

The number of people over the age of 60 in China is 143 million, accounting for 11 percent of the population.