• Karakters_1_samenwerking

    Samenwerking | 合作

  • Karakters_4_kennis

    Kennis | 知识

  • Karakters_5_samenwerking

    Samenwerking | 合作

  • Karakters3_uitwisseling

    Uitwisseling | 交流

  • Karakters_6_ontwikkeling

    Ontwikkelingen | 发展

  • Karakters2_werelden verbinden

    Werelden verbinden | 国际接轨

Growing old is not something we look forward to. Though commercials often paint a happy image of elderly people traveling around the world, reality is often less rosy. Ageing populations are something both wealthy and developing countries need to deal with. This is especially true for China, whose elderly population, counting 123 million in 1979, is expected to reach 487 million in 2053. The health- care system is not growing as fast in China, resulting in a dramatic lack of services and facilities. Western companies can be very helpful and could cooperate with their Chinese counterparts in developing this industry.

 One reason the percentage of elderly in China is relatively high is simply because people live longer. In 1950, the average Chinese had a life expectation of 44 years. Due to rapid economic growth this has risen to 74. Moreover, the retirement age in China is set at 60 for men and 50 for women, something we can only dream of. At this point, the state provides most of the pensions. This model is not sustainable, it is estimated that a financial deficit will emerge in 2030 and in 2050 the accumulated shortage could account for as much as 90 percent of China’s GDP.

There are plans to raise the retirement age to 65 for men and 60 for women, but this is not easily done. In a survey among 3,000 mainlanders, 54 percent of respondents opposed delaying retirement and only 26 percent showed support. One of the main reasons for objection was the lack of a secure healthcare system.

This is indeed a serious problem in China. There are insufficient facilities such as geriatric hospitals and nursing, let alone rehabilitation, psychiatric, and palliative care services. Although 95 percent of the population has . . . read more

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