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China moves to further integrate medical and elderly care services

Source: Xinhua Updated: 2022-07-22

BEIJING -- China's National Health Commission issued guidelines on Thursday, together with other relevant authorities, to further advance the integration of medical and elderly care services.

The document outlines a range of measures to improve health care services for the country's elderly population, which stands at 267 million, and to tackle problems such as the shortage of nursing beds, high costs, and lack of nursing staff in the integration of medical and elderly care services.

According to the guidelines, eligible health care centers and nursing homes in communities, towns and villages are encouraged to upgrade and expand their facilities for integrating medical and elderly care services.

Public health care and medical institutions are encouraged to provide home-based and contracted elderly care services, while elderly care institutions are encouraged to increase their supply of nursing beds and facilities.

Localities should promote the overall layout and resource sharing of various health care and medical service providers, the guidelines say, adding that information technology should be further tapped.

The guidelines specify a raft of policy supports to improve pricing mechanisms, boost insurance coverage, better leverage land resources, and implement fiscal and tax relief, in a bid to further provide integrated medical and elderly care services.

The guidelines also urge efforts to strengthen talent training, guide medical personnel in combining medical and elderly care skills, and increase the amount of care service providers for people with disabilities.