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Mu Pulse colleague, Julia and I attended a ceremonial tree raising ceremony this week at the construction site of the new inpatient hospice building. This is a custom that raises a pine tree to the roof crowning the structure with good luck and thanks for no construction accidents. An Austrian company has donated the building materials and Habitat for Humanity has donated the labor. Habitat builds small, single level wood framed houses so for them to take on a 4 story concrete building signifies their commitment to improving hospice care in the region. The estimate is that Bucharest should have 230 hospice beds and there are currently 6 which means that less than 6% of the Romanian people that need care receive it. It was shocking to learn that there is a waiting list for hospice care. This is quite paradoxical since hospice patients are terminal and don’t have time on their side. This new facility will add 30  additional beds. Not nearly what is needed but progress is slow in developing countries. Despite our shortcomings in the US healthcare system, we are incredibly fortunate. But every person regardless of where they live in the world deserves quality end of life care…so there is much work to be done. 

Peace from Bucharest,

Holly

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