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Premier focuses on services for the elderly and infants

Updated: Mar 15, 2019 chinadaily.com.cn Print
Premier Li Keqiang answers questions of reporters at a news conference for the second session of the 13th National People's Congress in Beijing on March 15, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

The supply of nursing services for the elderly and infants in China is insufficient and cannot meet demand, and this situation deserves the highest attention, Premier Li Keqiang said at a news conference on Friday.

“The number of people at 60 years old or above in China has reached 250 million, and the number of children below 6 years old is around 100 million, and nursing services for the two groups involve most families in China,” Li said after the closing of the annual session of China’s top legislative body.

Due to shortage of supply services, many people in big cities find it difficult to find a nursing home for their elderly parents, he said.

The shortage of daycare facilities for infants has becomes more prominent after the implementation of the universal second-child policy, which allowed all couples on the Chinese mainland to have two children, Li said.

Even if we accelerate building elderly nursing homes and multi-functional kindergartens, the supply shortage may not be completely eased due to rapid population ageing in China, he said.

Innovative measures are needed to address the shortages of such services to meet public demand, Li said, adding developing community-based nursing services for the elderly and infants can help as nursing facilities in communities can be more accessible to residents.

The government should take more measures to encourage private investment to develop the services, but effective supervision is needed to ensure such services are safe, Li said.

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