China’s Ageing Population Puts Pressure on Care System

4 January 2010 (Last Updated January 4th, 2010 18:30)

China's healthcare system is being tested by the number of elderly patients in the country, with more than 12% of China's population over the age of 60. The number of people older than 60 years reached 160 million at the end of 2009, which is 12.3% of the country's total population, X

China's healthcare system is being tested by the number of elderly patients in the country, with more than 12% of China's population over the age of 60.

The number of people older than 60 years reached 160 million at the end of 2009, which is 12.3% of the country's total population, Xinhua news agency reported.

The country has 2.5 million beds in rest homes while an estimated eight million elderly are seeking accommodation in such facilities, the news agency said.

About 10 million nurses and specialists are needed to look after those who cannot take care of themselves, but there are only 220,000 employees working in care facilities for the aged across the country, 90% of which are under-qualified, it said.