THE Hospital Authority plans to increase the number of beds for hospice care to at least 250 by the year 2000, the Deputy Director (Operations), Dr Dickson Chang Tai-sing, said yesterday. He said the Government was committed to adding at least 20 more beds to hospice care in hospitals next year as Governor Chris Patten promised in his policy speech that the service could be expanded to cover 500 more patients. Dr Chang said there were currently 87 beds in local hospitals which were assigned for hospice care, and he saw a need to enhance and improve the service. Dr Chang said about 8,000 to 9,000 cancer patients died in Hong Kong every year but despite medical advances, at best only one-third of all cancer patients would be really curable. ''For the rest, hospice care is absolutely essential and often it is the only hope where they can find relief and solace,'' he said.