BEIJING, July 13 (Xinhua) -- China's community-level medical institutions were asked to improve inpatient wards and provide more beds for the elderly, according to a circular released by the National Health Commission Monday.
Hospital beds in community-level medical institutions should be mainly used for elderly patients, rehabilitation, nursing care and palliative care, the circular said.
By the end of 2018, China had about 250 million citizens aged 60 and above, accounting for 17.9 percent of the total population. Nearly 180 million elderly people in the country have chronic diseases.
Wang Jianjun, director of the China National Committee on Ageing, had earlier stressed that communities are a primary part of old-age care, noting that communities will enjoy more support in terms of policies and finance.
The circular laid out other measures to promote the development of community-level medical institutions, including enhancing the diagnosis and treatment of common diseases.
The medical institutions were encouraged to set up targeted departments, including psychological clinics, in accordance with local conditions.
The circular also stressed the detection and reporting of infectious diseases.