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China vows greater support for private eldercare

Updated: Mar 28,2017 8:11 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — Chinese civil affairs authorities have pledged to encourage private eldercare services with more favorable policies.

Private senior care institutions now account for 40 percent of the total eldercare agencies nationwide, with the figure exceeding 50 percent in many provinces, Meng Zhiqiang, senior official with the Ministry of Civil Affairs, said on March 28 at a news conference in Beijing.

Despite effective government incentives for private senior care services, challenges have remained as red tape exists in the industry and many policies have been not fully implemented, Meng noted.

Meng said civil affairs authorities will continue to ease rules for the private sector providing senior care, and to roll out favorable policies in fields like land supply, taxation and subsidies.

By 2020, China’s senior population — those aged 60 and above — is expected to reach 255 million, up from 230 million in 2016, to account for 17.8 percent of the total population, and the number of people aged 80 or older will reach 29 million, official figures showed.

According to a guideline on development for the elderly during the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) period released by the State Council earlier this month, China plans to cut government-run nursing home beds to no more than 50 percent of the total.