China to set up public facilities for left-behind children

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China will set up social welfare facilities to support children who are left behind or in need in counties and urban districts, according to a plan released by the Chinese government.

The 13th five-year plan for the implementation of social services (“十三五”社会服务兜底工程实施方案), jointly drafted by the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Civil Affairs and China Disabled Person’s Federation, sets out the government’s work plan regarding the welfare of “left-behind” children, the elderly and the disabled.

As stipulated in the plan, counties with over 500.000 people or over 200 orphans will establish child welfare facilities, in order to drive the creation of fully equipped and standardized child welfare service networks. Mental health facilities will be established in cities lacking such resources, as will funeral parlours and public storage facilities for cremated ashes.

The plan makes it clear that bed space at retirement homes will be increased to reach 35 to 40 beds for every one thousand elderly people, with a ratio of nursing beds of over 30%. It is also proposed that China should gradually develop a comprehensive and sound public service system for the disabled by 2020.