Current status of hospice cancer deaths both in-unit and at home (199-2000), and prospects of home care services in Japan

Ida, E.; Miyachi, M.; Uemura, M.; Osakama, M.; Tajitsu, T.
May 2002
Palliative Medicine;May2002, Vol. 16 Issue 3, p179
Academic Journal
In Japan, the first government-approve d hospice (GAH) and palliative care unit was established and commence d operations in 1990, and hospice medical care was made eligible for health insurance coverage. By 31 December 2000, the number of GAH institutions had increased to 86 (1590 beds). The ratio of hospices to population in Japan is currently approximately 1:1.5 million, with an average of one hospice bed for approximately every 80 000 people. This study of GAH institutions reports a survey conducted to determine the number of deaths (hospice unit and home) of GAH cancer patients, and to determine the servicing status of hospice home care for the period 1995 through 2000. The place of death of the patients cared for by GAHs in 2000 were: hospice units 97.7% and home 2.3%. GAH patient deaths (both inpatient and at home) in 2000 was 2.6% of the total number of cancer patients' deaths, an increase of 3.8-fold since 1995. Of the total number of GAH institutions, 62% are engaged in home care services and 91% offer hospice care by hospice-assigned doctors. In addition, 72% offer team care with nurses based at Home Care Agencies. In order for the hospice (including home care service) to become established in a way most appropriate to each region of Japan, GAH institutions must assume significant promotional roles in their respective regions. One of the goals and assignments of establishing medical service with hospice home care in Japan is to develop the systematic care programs of GAH institutions, which include home care service in addition to the already established hospice unit and outpatient services.


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