Lawmakers suggest open elderly care market
Updated: 2015-12-22 20:32
BEIJING - Chinese lawmakers have suggested to fully open the elderly care market to address the huge demand from the country's rapidly aging population.
Inadequate development of the industry has caused a big gap between demand and supply, according to a report submitted Tuesday to the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee for review.
Most communities lack service facilities for the old, and existing ones are not professional or well utilized, said the report delivered by a group of lawmakers led by Wang Shengjun, vice chairman of NPC Standing Committee. The report was based on their studies on how a law on the protection of senior citizens' rights and interests had been implemented.
The situation is worse in the rural areas, where most old people are left alone at home while the young migrate to cities for work, according to the report.
The report suggests letting more non-government forces enter the sector and motivating various private funds to invest, including overseas investors.
It also advises authorities to encourage banks to provide more loans for the industry.
Governments at all levels should implement the national strategy for the aging population and train more staff, it said.
By the end of 2014, China had 212 million people aged at 60 or above, 15.5 percent of the total population. The figure is expected to reach 243 million by 2020.