HONG KONG'S oldest home for dying cancer patients faces cuts because it cannot raise another $1 million to cover operating costs. The Haven of Hope Hospice, which opened in 1987, has run solely on contributions from the Hong Kong Cancer Fund for three years. But the fund has just informed staff at the 23-bed hospice in Tseung Kwan O, that it can no longer spare the money. 'We can't keep up with the demand for our services as it is,' said chairman Sally Lo. 'We do not want to pull away, but we just can't afford not to.' The hospice, a ward of the Haven of Hope Hospital, has won acclaim for its high standard of care. There are long waiting lists for its beds and, despite a territory-wide nursing shortage, has a waiting list of nurses who want to work there. 'We have set a minimum standard that no patient will die alone, lonely and unattended,' said Haven of Hope chief executive Dr Anthony Leung Hi-tat. Cancer is Hong Kong's worst killer, responsible for almost one in three deaths in 1993. Governor Chris Patten has pledged that 'by 1998-9, an extra 1,000 patients a year will be able to live out their terminal illnesses in comfort and dignity'. At present there are only eight hospices with 153 beds between them, and cancer specialists want to know how the extra beds will be funded. The Haven of Hope needs $2.5 million to operate next year, but has received only $1.5 million from private donors. Unless it can find the extra $1 million, administrators will cut the number of staff and patients. 'This is the tip of the iceberg; there are many more people out there who need help,' said Dr Leung. 'In Hong Kong there are far too many people dying of cancer completely alone. 'We don't need any expensive equipment, we just need to be able to pay the carers.' In April 1997, the hospice will move to a new hospital being built nearby. Before then, it must find an extra $10 million for the new ward - a daunting sum which it has not yet begun to raise. 'It is a terrible shame that the hospice is short of money,' said Ms Lo. 'It provides a tremendous service and often looks after people no one else wants to look after. 'We want to be able to continue to help them. But we have eight centres to fund and are opening four new centres this year.' Hospital Authority deputy director of operations Dr Ko Wing-man denied his organisation or the Government could do more to help. 'There are many demands on our funds,' he said. 'We cannot meet them all. That is the great thing about Hong Kong society, it is so generous when charities make a call.'