It’s well known that China has a major ageing problem. According to the National Health Commission, at the end of 2018, China had a population of 249 million aged 60 or above, a number which is expected to exceed 300 million in 2025. Not surprisingly, that’s creating a massive shortage of aged care workers.
According to Xinhua “with nearly 41 million disabled or semi-disabled senior citizens, the country should have at least 13 million elderly nursing staff according to international standards. However, there were less than half a million elderly care professionals in 2017, with only 20,000 of them certified. The lack of colleges which offer ‘elderly care’ as a major, along with inadequate social acceptance and low salary around 4,000 to 5,000 yuan (US$579 to US$724) fail to cultivate and attract more people going into this field.
We have been exploring this area on behalf of some of our clients, and this led Vanessa and me to visit a large nursing school in Guangzhou last year. Like everything in China, “Anything is possible, but nothing is easy!” If nothing else, it led to a great photo (see below)