Beijing’s new ‘five-year health plan’ includes child health care, primary education, as well as more staff and beds.
Beijing (AsiaNews) – For the past year, China has allowed parents to have two children. Although many experts believe that the end of the one-child policy will not improve China’s demography, the authorities want to improve the health care system.
As part of its 2016-2020 health ‘five-year plan’, China plans to meet fresh demand for public services such as child health care and primary education. This means adding 89,000 new hospital beds and train 140,000 new obstetricians and nurses.
The new plan, made public on Tuesday, said that demographic problems were likely to become more pronounced in the coming five years as a result of China’s ageing population, rising urbanisation rates and health care coverage gaps in some regions.
It notes that China’s average life expectancy is expected to rise to 77.3 years by the end of 2020, whilst its population was forecast to rise to around 1.42 billion – up from 1.37 billion at the end of 2015.
The plan also aims to cut infant mortality rates to less than 18 per 100,000 births – down from 20.1 in 2015.
Death rates from diseases such as cancer and diabetes are expected to fall by 10 per cent over the 2016-2020 period.