BioScience Trends. 2024;18(3):212-218. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2024.01180)

Addressing healthy aging in China: Practices and prospects

Wang HY, Qin D, Fang L, Liu H, Song PP


One important challenge for global development is aging. China is one of the world's countries with the highest elderly population and the most rapid aging; in 2022, the percentage of the population over 65 was 14.9%; by 2050, it is expected to rise to 26.1%. China's health security, elderly care, and healthcare services are facing serious challenges as a result of this aging trend. With 80% of provinces including medical and elderly care in national basic public health care programs, China has adopted a proactive national plan to combat population aging. Moreover, geriatric departments have been established at 69.3% of public general hospitals at secondary and higher tiers, 48% of provinces have devises preventive interventions for disability and dementia in the elderly, 48 percent of provinces are serving as test regions for medical care related to rehabilitation, and 49 cities are involved in long-term care insurance (LTCI) trials that encompass 170 million people. There are 4,259 medical and health care facilities that provide hospice care services, 152 hospice care pilot regions, and 87,000 pairs of contracts between medical and health care facilities and elderly care providers. These developments provide a strong basis, but there are still major obstacles to overcome. The Chinese Government is urged to adopt early preventive measures, offer more ongoing, practical, and cost-effective diagnostic and treatment services, allocate resources equitably, and use intelligent technologies to enhance elderly care. The ultimate goals are to lessen the financial burden, enhance the health of the elderly, and offer a vital global resource.

KEYWORDS: aging, China, health policy, long-term care insurance, prospects

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