ZHANG FAN PROJECT MANAGER OF CASCADE
market, yet there are still no specific rules or policies on the books to transform the welcome into tangible business opportunities.
Professional nursing for the elderly costs money. It features disease prevention, rehabilitation training and tailor-made comprehensive nursing, and differs from the temporary nursing services in Chinese cities, which are undertaken by middle-aged jobless women, and female migrant workers at much lower prices.
Most of the nursing homes look like holiday hotels. Monthly costs range from $1,311 to more than $5,000.
The average monthly pension for an urban Chinese varies $300 to around $2,000, and a farmer’s monthly pension is about $8.33.
Even after the elderly Chinese mortgage their houses, as the Shanghai government advocates, their earnings from commercial pension insurance still pale in contrast with high nursing home costs.
Preferential policies for private for-profit nursing homes could encourage more investors at home and abroad to provide more diversified and competitive services for the elderly of different income levels.
Zhang Fan, vice-director of social welfare at the Shanghai civil affairs bureau, said: “We will not distinguish between foreign and domestic agencies caring for the elderly with preferential policies, if any.”
Analysts think that a clearcut set of rules and guidelines would also distribute supervisory duties clearly among the civil affairs, commerce and business administrations, as well as public health departments.
“An open and well-supervised environment promotes healthy development of the burgeoning industry,” Zhang Fan noted. “The Chinese nursing enterprises can better learn management experience from foreign companies to better serve the elderly.”