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Experts say proposed measures to improve China’s elderly care services

Updated: Nov 30,2018 5:10 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — The measures proposed recently by the State Council concerning elderly care services will help increase the supply and improve the quality of the services, experts said.

The Chinese government put forward several measures to handle elderly care problems, such as a lack of startup funds and land, at a State Council executive meeting on Nov 28.

It urged related authorities to simplify and ease the market access to such services and support the development of elderly care institutions of multiple ownerships, while ensuring public facilities to play a basic role, according to a statement released after the meeting.

Dang Junwu, deputy head of the China Research Center on Aging, said such measures can mobilize social forces and motivate private elderly care institutions, thus effectively increasing the supply of elderly care services.

The meeting called for startup loan support for individuals and small- and micro-businesses qualified to offer elderly care services, as well as improvement in land supply policies and more efforts on developing community services.

These measures will further increase the service supplies, make full use of resources, and make it more convenient for community residents to receive elderly care services, said Dang.

It was also proposed at the meeting to include the medical services provided by qualified elderly care institutions into the medical insurance scheme.

Experts said such move would attract more seniors to live in elderly care institutions and effectively relieve pressure on hospitals.

Data from the Ministry of Civil Affairs show that as of the end of 2017, there were around 155,000 elderly care institutions and facilities of all kinds nationwide, offering 7.4 million beds for seniors.