Current long term care system for elderly
China does not have a formal long term elderly care system.1 In the absence of a mature and stable social care system, the elderly population in rural areas and disabled elderly people in general are particularly vulnerable. However, in recent years, China has been proactively addressing the looming aging care challenge, and is establishing a social care system for the elderly.2
Program and nature of coverage
China is establishing an elderly social care service system. Its national strategy, as outlined under the 12th Five-Year Programme (FY 2011–15), aims to improve long term care in the country “with home-based care as the foundation, backed up by community-based services and supported by institutional care”.
Nature of benefit coverage
Institution-based elderly care services are accessible to only 1.8 percent of the elderly population. China also lacks a complete community-based service system to support home care.
Source of funding
Currently mainly private out-of-pocket expenditure.
Reforms initiated/ future direction
By 2015, China plans to expand its comprehensive service network to support home-based care in all urban communities, 80 percent of rural townships and half of the villages. Over the same period, it also plans to add more than 3 million new institution-based beds, to accommodate 3 percent of the elderly population.
1Millions of Chinese families face elderly care challenge, India Today, March 26, 2012
Accessed 10 May 2012.
2Eai bulletin (PDF 988 KB), East Asian Institute, March 2012
Accessed 5 June 2012.