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March 9, 2021

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Fusion of elderly care services sought

An increasing number of Shanghai seniors are seeking elderly care services in other cities in the Yangtze River Delta region, but the regional integration of those services is in its infancy, according to a deputy of the National People’s Congress from Shanghai.

Convenient transportation, clean air and lower costs are what attract these seniors, but integrated social services are necessary to support their choices, said the deputy, Gao Yun, who is the Party chief of Huangpu District.

One of the biggest problems is that those who reside in other cities in the region often need to return to Shanghai for medical services, Gao said.

Due to the absence of a regional medical insurance billing system that supports real-time communication related to account activities, cross-city insurance billing for medical services is burdened, according to Gao.

He said retirees from Shanghai who reside in other cities have a difficult time receiving their pensions where they live. Also, long-term care insurance and elderly service allowance policies are not yet aligned across the region.

Gao has proposed the creation of a regional elderly care service platform facilitating the integration of public services across the cities to help match services and needs, including regional sharing of seniors’ digital medical records.

He also proposed the introduction of common standards to standardize elderly care services by categorizing seniors according to their needs.

About 5.2 million Shanghai residents are above the age of 60, according to official data.

The Yangtze River Delta region encompasses Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui provinces as well as Shanghai.


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