Saturday, May 26, 2007

Overview of China's Public Healthcare for the Elderly

Breakfast. Bus ride. Presentation. Tour. Lunch. Bus ride. Museum tour. Bus a break, soon another bus ride, and then the Peking Duck Banquet...there's sure a lot of eating!

Today, Dr. Chen Jianpeng, a research fellow at the Information Center of Chinese Ministry of Health, gave us an overview of health care in China. There are currently 149 million people age 60+ in China; that will increase by 20 million in 5 years. A challenge that he mentioned concerns the health conditions that come with an aging population. Another is the changing culture. More and more elders are living apart from their families, due to the younger generation leaving the rural areas. However, in China, they believe that it is the government's responsibility to oversee the public health of the elderly. To this end, they have developed a new framework that covers people in both urban and rural areas, and is too complex for this blog!

Perhaps one of the most interesting things that he shared today (and he shared quite a bit!) was that men tend to use health care services more frequently than women. The second was that the older you are (he used both 80 and 100 as age markers), the more health care services you are likely to receive (due to cultural norms). He even went so far as to say that government officials who do not treat their elderly family members well are not promoted...

Please note that our lecture took place in private facilities provided by the Landgent Group, a private company in real estate development, international and vocational education, and senior services--and they did link these together into a comprehensive strategy for us when they gave their part of the presentation today. The photo was taken in the wine cellar, which holds the collection of one man...more than 200,000 bottles of wine (you read that right), mostly from France. And yes, they did serve some at lunch. And no, I didn't have any (although Dad did!)


Lynn said...

Hi Debbie. Keep the blog posts coming. We are following with great interest.

Mike & Lynn

Candace said...

It is so much fun to see China through your eyes. I wonder what would happen if we promoted people in our government based on how they treat their elders (and our children!). I like that....can you institute these policies right away upon return to the US? Keep the story coming!