China is pushing local governments to start pilot programs in 2022 to increase the quality of medical and care services for the elderly, with the goal of implementing the scheme across China in 2023, reports Reuters. Of the 31 provinces, regions and municipalities in mainland China, 15 should launch their local pilot schemes for better medical and care services for the elderly next year, the National Health Commission (NHC) said in a statement on Monday.
China has been mobilizing resources to ensure that more vulnerable age groups are taken care of as society ages. In 2020, citizens aged 65 and above accounted for 13.5% of the Chinese population, compared to 8.87% registered in 2010.
A diminishing pool of working adults will also hamper China’s ability to provide and pay for high-quality services for older people. The pilot programs should aim to increase the number of medical facilities that cater for the elderly, for example by guiding some hospitals to transform themselves into care centers or supporting non-government organizations in setting up large-scale chains of care centers, the NHC said.