Legislators share suggestions on improving elderly care services

Updated: 2022-09-27

Legislators made various suggestions to help address the pressing concerns of the elderly during group deliberations of two reports on aging population work at the 36th session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, on Sept 1.

The progress report by the State Council on promoting work related to elderly care services and the research report by a team of the NPC Standing Committee on implementing the national strategy to cope with an aging population comprehensively summarized the achievements made in work related to the elderly, objectively analyzed the existing difficulties, and put forward feasible measures to address future challenges, noted the meeting.

Members of the NPC Standing Committee called for targeted efforts to tackle social security, pensions, medical care and other livelihood issues faced by the elderly, and to accelerate the establishment of a sound policy system and institutional framework for the high-quality development of the national undertakings for the aged.

Speeding up establishment of home-based care and medical service system for the elderly

Wu Heng said that the State should introduce policies as soon as possible to support home-based elderly care, including the encouragement of private investment into the sector with eased market access and a service classification system. 

Lyu Wei’s suggestion focused on meeting the demand for in-home medical services and emergency rescue through the provision of legal guarantees, the improvement of the medical insurance system and the expansion of service supply.

To provide inclusive elderly care services, more efforts are needed to integrate the sources of the government and market and to accelerate the cultivation of professional market-based service providers, according to Li Feiyue.

Advancing the introduction of a plan to raise retirement age

A research report estimated that, according to the current retirement system, an average of 20 million people will retire each year, and that the working-age population will shrink by 3 to 5 million annually. Therefore, it suggested delaying the statutory age for retirement in a steady, flexible, and coordinated manner, with enhanced supporting measures.

In response, Sun Jianguo said the retirement age can be raised in line with actual situations, as the average life expectancy have increased and people at 60 years old are generally healthy enough to work. Meanwhile, the digital transformation of industries also makes it possible for the elderly to continue working.

Noting that the current retirement age was determined more than 40 years ago, Li Peilin suggested the top legislature conducting thorough research and promote the planning and implementation of the rise in retirement age from the legal and institutional perspectives.

Protecting the rights and interests of the elderly

The research report identified many problems that infringe the legitimate rights and interests of the aging population, such as the lack of family care and investment fraud.

During the deliberation, Yang Zhijin called for efforts to bridge the digital divide by helping the aged master new skills, and to promote the social inclusion of the elderly by maintaining some traditional services, such as cash payment. Yang also suggested strengthening the fight against financial fraud targeting the elderly.

In addition, Li Yuefeng said as the protection of the rights and interests of the aging population faces new challenges, it is necessary to improve the trial of related cases and support the building of an age-friendly society in accordance with the law.

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