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China's elderly-care facility beds more than triple since 2007

Updated: Feb 9, 2019 Xinhua Print

BEIJING - China had 7.45 million elderly-care facility beds in 2017, compared to just 2.13 million in 2007, according to a recent report issued by Peking Union Medical College and Chinese Aging Well Association.

In 2017, there were over 150,000 facilities providing elderly care services in China, including nursing homes, welfare houses and homes for elderly veterans, said the report published on Jan 26.

For thousand elderly people there were 31.60 nursing home beds in 2016, an increase of 19.55 on the figure in 2006.

Yet the country saw a huge gap between its aging population and the number of the beds, as about 111,300 out of over 140,000 elderly care providers in China offered no accommodation as of the end of 2016.

China had 240 million people aged 60 and above in 2017, accounting for 17.3 percent of its population.

Nearly 1.59 million beds in China's eldercare facilities were still vacant by the end of 2016, the report said.

A 2016 survey showed that only 4 percent of China's elderly people would like to turn to elderly care facilities, partly due to Chinese people's preference for home-based elderly care and insufficient medical and care services in many facilities.

The report also noted a shortage in qualified personnel, saying that only 300,000 people had qualifications in elderly care in China by the end of 2017, far from the goal of having 6 million eldercare nurses by 2020 set in an official plan in 2011.

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