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English>>China Society

Empty rural care homes get bed boost

By Liu Meng (Global Times)

10:52, October 23, 2012

Beijing Civil Affairs Bureau (BCAB) has announced a new strategy to release more bed space in underused nursing homes in Beijing's suburbs.

According to an investigation by BCAB and Beijing Ageing Commission Office this year, there is a huge imbalance in the occupancy rate between nursing homes in the downtown and the suburbs, the Beijing News reported Monday.

Employees from both the First Social Welfare Institution of Beijing and the Fifth Social Welfare Institution of Beijing in Chaoyang district, told the Global Times that they have no bed space, with the former organization saying one would have to wait for seven or eight years to get a bed and the latter saying at least 200 seniors are queuing for a bed and they only accept fewer than 10 candidates every year.

"I think that downtown nursing homes attract more seniors because there are better hospitals nearby as well as the convenient traffic which makes it easier for relatives to visit," said an anonymous female employee from the Fifth Social Welfare Institution.

Yu Hanlin, vice director with the welfare department of BCAB, confirmed Monday that the improvement work on 191 nursing homes in the countryside has been listed in their work plan.

The plan includes expanding the housing, renovating the facilities to be suitable for seniors and strengthening staff training in these homes.

"We aim to boost the competitiveness of rural nursing homes to attract senior residents from downtown," he told the Global Times.
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