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China to improve nursing services for seniors

Xinhua, October 24, 2016 Adjust font size:

Chinese civil affairs authorities have pledged to provide seniors with better nursing services by mobilizing idle social resources, according to an official circular.

The circular, issued by the Ministry of Civil Affairs and another 10 ministries, asked authorities to transform abandoned factories, hospitals, public buildings and training centers of state-owned enterprises into nursing institutions for the elderly.

The move aims to provide more nursing facilities and ensure seniors are able to access nursing services as close to their homes as possible, it said.

It also called for enhanced reform to further streamline administrative approval and delegate more power to lower governments, and applications to run such institutions should be approved in a timely manner.

China's population is aging. In 2015, about 222 million of the country's 1.3 billion citizens were 60 or older. That number is expected to grow at an alarming rate over the next few decades.