China tries internet based nurse program

World Today

China is piloting an Internet-based nursing program to provide better services for its aging population.

The online platform allows qualified nurses to visit seniors and other patients inside their homes.

CGTN’s Xing Ruinan has more.

Du Ting is a registered nurse in Beijing. She is reporting to an appointment that was made through the newly introduced online nursing platform. Du said when she is off work from her hospital job, she provides door-to-door services on her own.

“I usually choose nearby places that I can arrive within an hour. The online program for nurses does not only increase my income, it also improves the quality of my services,” said Du Ting a nurse.

As China’s population ages, there’s an increasing demand for elderly care facilities.

“Now there are more than 100 million senior people over the age of 70 in our country. Around 10 percent of them need rehabilitation and nursing. Currently, most of them live in hospitals. But we don’t have enough beds in our hospital, and the fees are actually a bit high. In other words, it’s very hard to meet the demand from a surging number of seniors,” said Yang Yansui a professor at Tsinghua University Hospital.

China’s health authorities said the pilot program is aimed at addressing the situation.

The fees for online appointments are higher. The practice has also raised concerns regarding service quality.

“There are some safety concerns. So first, only qualified nurses can be sent, and only qualified medical organizations can partner with the online health platform. Also, we still have to discuss the scope of the services that we can provide,” said Jiao Yahui the deputy director of the medical administration bureau for the National Health Commission.

The national and local governments have already introduced a range of measures to better serve China’s aging society including financial incentives for students and young graduates in the field of senior care, granting leaves for adult children to take care of their parents, and investing in community facilities for the elderly.

Ronald Lee discusses China’s aging population and nursing care

CGTN’s Elaine Reyes talks with Prof. Ronald Lee of Berkeley University’s Graduate School in Demography and Economics, about China’s aging population and nursing care.