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China sets to offer more eldercare beds

Xinhua, December 26, 2014 Adjust font size:

China has set a goal to secure 30 nursing home beds per 1,000 people at or above the age of 60 by the end of 2015, up from the current 25.43, as the quickly growing aging population strains elderly care services.

The number of people in China aged 60 or older hit 202 million by the end of 2013, making up nearly 15 percent of the total population, according to official figures. Its senior population is expected to exceed 300 million in 2025 and take up 30 percent by 2050.

Nursing homes, whose capacities are mainly limited by bed numbers, play a key role in accommodating old people who live by themselves or cannot be properly cared for at home. However, even in big cities like Beijing, many senior citizens face a long waiting list before they can get a spot in a quality nursery due to bed shortage.

Revealed by Minister of Civil Affairs Li Liguo at a Thursday meeting, the goal of the nursing center beds is part of the 2015 plan for the civil affairs system that also includes overall quality boost in the country's elder care services, the reform of state-sponsored elderly care institutions as well as better legislative efforts to ensure the old people's benefits.

"We will map out more regulations on facilitating the financing, land provision, tax relief, allowance support for the elderly care service as well as favorable social treatments for the elderly and creating a sound environment for their living," Li said.


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