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Healthy Ageing in China

(People's Daily Online)

16:04, April 09, 2012

BEIJING, 7 April 2012 – "Good health adds life to years". This is the theme of this year's World Health Day, commemorated every year on 7 April, the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO). The Ministry of Health of China, together with China National Committee on Ageing, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and WHO marked World Health Day 2012 with a campaign to promote healthy ageing, as the proportion of older people continues to grow worldwide.

In the next five years, for the first time in human history, the number of adults in the world aged 65 and over will outnumber children under the age of 5. While the global population is rapidly ageing, developing countries will experience the most rapid and dramatic demographic change. It took more than 100 years for France's population aged 65 or older to double from 7 to 14%. In contrast, it will take countries like Brazil and China about 25 years to achieve the same growth.

China already has the largest elderly population in the world. According to the 2010 national census, there are 119 million people aged 65 and over, about 8.87% of China's overall population.

To cope with the rapidly ageing population, Mr Yin Li, Vice Minister of Health stated at the Healthy Ageing Symposium on World Health Day in Beijing on 7 April, that during the 11th Five-Year Plan period the health service network for the older population continued to improve, the health insurance system for the older people kept growing, the health services provided to the older people expanded, and health management of the older population was included as a priority into basic public health service package under the healthcare reform. During the 12th Five-Year Plan period, the Ministry of Health of China will further implement active strategies of healthy ageing and provide basic health services to the older people to ensure their access to healthcare services.

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