Palliative care in mainland China

Min Zou, Margaret Mary O'Connor, Louise Audrey Peters, Wang Jiejun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOther


Predictable deaths from diseases like cancer account for approximately 83 of deaths in China. Despite the growing numbers of terminally ill people from all diseases, palliative care is in its infancy. Factors that have slowed the development of palliative care include cultural values that encourage efforts to cure (even when such treatment is likely to be futile) over the alleviation of suffering, limited public policies and funding for palliative care, and poor education of healthcare professionals about end-of-life care. To improve the palliative care of people in China who are terminally ill, efforts should be made to integrate best practice into the healthcare system, while being sensitive to, and preserving cultural values. In this paper, suggestions are made for the future development of palliative care in China. Based on the World Health Organisation s public health model for integrating palliative care into existing healthcare services, these suggestions focus on public policy, education and training of healthcare professionals, lobbying of policy makers, and public education and information campaigns. Through working on the issues highlighted in this paper, China has an opportunity to improve the end-of-life care of people who are terminally ill.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9 - 13
Number of pages5
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Health Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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