Government Policies and Programs for Rapid Ageing in China: Review of Recent Developments in System Integration and Digital Services

Main Article Content

Yurong Zhang Yanli Liu Xiulan Zhang

Abstract

Background: China is facing the challenge of an increasingly ageing population. The proportion of people aged 60 and above increased from 10% to 21.1% between 1999 and 2023 and is projected to reach 28% by 2040. In response to this demographic shift, the Chinese central government has implemented a series of policies that have evolved over time. The rapid advancement of information technology and science has accelerated these changes. However, there is still a research gap in understanding the digital service policies for elderly care.


Methodology: Based on research literature and policy texts, this study specifically focuses on policy development between January 2019 and January 2024. Seventy traceable national policy texts were categorized and analyzed, gathered from the State Council's policy document database and the official websites of national ministries.


Result: The 70 policies were interpreted and categorized into three major aspects. Firstly, the policies on the improvement of traditional elderly care aimed to meet diverse needs by focusing on health and medical care, the management and standards of serving institutions, service improvements and standardization, and the development of the service workforce. Secondly, the policies on system integration between elderly care and other industries included the integration of finance and elderly care, the construction of the insurance system, long-term care institutions and insurance, hospice care, and the silver economy. Thirdly, the policies on digital services comprised the smart healthcare industry, information accessibility, elderly-friendly digital technology and empowerment, and the creation of elderly-friendly communities and societies.


Conclusion: The development concepts and contents of China's elderly care policy have evolved. The acceleration of transformation and promotion of the silver economy has become a new comprehensive and universal measure. Despite recent policy developments indicating a growing trend towards integration, there remains considerable room for improvement in actual implementation. This should focus on the uneven development of the "three pillars" of the pension system, insufficient innovation in financial products, and inadequate industry financing channels. It is important to be alert to the persistent problems and obstacles, which widen the gap in elderly welfare, create new forms of social inequality and exclusion, and hinder the development of a friendly information society.

Keywords: elderly care, policies and programs, system integration, digital services, China

Article Details

How to Cite
ZHANG, Yurong; LIU, Yanli; ZHANG, Xiulan. Government Policies and Programs for Rapid Ageing in China: Review of Recent Developments in System Integration and Digital Services. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 12, n. 6, june 2024. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <https://esmed.org/MRA/mra/article/view/5404>. Date accessed: 22 july 2024. doi: https://doi.org/10.18103/mra.v12i6.5404.
Section
Review Articles

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