A Mooring Bay for the Dwindling Life

17 May 2001

It is a great pleasure to be here today. I wish to thank the colleagues of all the hospices around the country for attending this ceremony. Your selfless devotion to help terminally ill cancer patients has given them new hope, and in doing so, you have shown us a side of humanity that is truly noble.

The hospice at the First Affiliated Hospital of Shantou University Medical College has been operating for two years. Under the guidance of Vice President Li Yuguang, the programme has already achieved widespread success. Many terminally ill patients who would otherwise be neglected have received the care and attention that they deserve. I have decided to expand hospice services to 16 other major hospitals around the country so that more and more patients can benefit. We intend to further expand our area of service and set up hospice services at 20 hospitals throughout the nation. Whether our resources will be utilized efficiently will depend on many factors. I hope that you will make good use of these resources to improve the quality of medical technology and services. With your concerted efforts, we hope to promote this meaningful service throughout the country and attract more high-calibre medical professionals to join us. If everything goes as planned, I would consider setting up an independent fund to support this initiative on a long-term, continuous basis.

When days cannot be added to life, it is important that we add life to days. Terminally ill cancer patients suffer excruciating pain both physically and psychologically. It is difficult for us to imagine the helplessness and the burden felt by these patients. Some people say Heaven or Hell awaits us in the afterlife. But for terminally ill patients who suffer day in and day out, it seems they have already been condemned to a life of pain. The medical staff of the hospice is very magnanimous to dedicate themselves to helping the terminally ill alleviate their pain, regain their dignity, and ease the burden on their families. I want to take this opportunity to once again express my highest respect for these professionals. It is truly an honour to be able to work with you to help those in need. Thank you.