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Turn idle government buildings into nursing homes

Updated: 2014-10-23 10:33
By Li Yang (chinadaily.com.cn)

Many Chinese cities lack nursing homes for their senior citizens and as local governments now have spare office buildings left empty as a result of the anti-graft campaign, governments may consider turning some idle spaces into badly-needed nursing facilities for the country’s rapidly-aging population, says an article in the Beijing News. Excerpts:

Heilongjiang provincial government has decided to transform more than 200 empty offices into nursing homes. This is a good way to avoid waste of public resources, and to prevent local governments reusing extravagant office space.

The public has been left in the dark over the future use of empty government offices. Many “training centers”, which are really hotels belonging to governments, are left unused throughout the year. It is time to make use of this infrastructure to serve the people.

Most elderly Chinese live at home with their families as their main supporters. Because of the family planning policy enforced since the 1980s, the dependency ratio between the old and young will greatly increase in the next decade.

The government should encourage private investors in the pensions and ageing business and empty office buildings, several hundred in some provinces, could be the government’s input..

Heilongjiang provincial government may continue to explore a business model that has the potential to go nationwide and make better use of idle office buildings to serve the people.

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