Three departments responsible for the implementation of the policies of family planning have been removed from the new structure of the National Commission of Health of China, announced the agency itself in its website and digital.
The departments have been replaced by a new department that will focus on Population Monitoring and Family Development. In addition, it will be responsible for making recommendations linked to birth policies.
Three new departments have also been created to take care of the work related to family health, the health of the elderly and occupational health, the National Health Commission of China said Monday.
And he detailed fourteen specific responsibilities of the National board of Health defined after the organizational restructuring, including the formulation of national health policies, the coordination and the deepening of the reform of the medical system and health care, the prevention and control of disease and the formulation of pharmaceutical policies.
Following the restructuring, the National Health Commission now has 21 departments and 525 administrative staff. He also stressed the importance of creating a comprehensive system for Disease Prevention and addressing the challenges of an ageing population.
In March, the indicator “family planning” was removed from the name of the commission formerly known as the National Commission on health and Family Planning. This change is due to the comprehensive government reform to reform official departments and reduce bureaucracy.
The suppression of the three departments enforcing family planning policies triggered a public conjecture that the government might be planning to repeal the regulations on the number of children allowed by marriage.
“This restructuring does not mean that family planning no longer exists,” said Yuan Xin, a specialist in population studies at Nankai University in Tianjin.
In China’s “new era”, the main tasks in this regard have shifted from birth control to the provision of comprehensive reproductive services and support for Family Development.
At the beginning of 2017, people over the age of 60 accounted for approximately 16.2 percent of the country’s total population.
By 2050, nearly a third of the population of the country will have more than 60 years, said the National Working Committee of China when referring to the aging population of the country.
The above statistic contrasts with the number of people of working age who will decline by 700 million individuals, representing a decrease of almost a quarter of the total population.
Alarmed by the rapid population ageing and the reduction of the active labour force, the Chinese government relaxed the family planning policy in force since 1979, implementing the two children’s new policy in 2016.
“Establishing a new department to care for the elderly demonstrates the Chinese government’s attention to this segment of the population. But the problem of ageing cannot be solved only by boosting the birth rate. Instead, improving our competitiveness in the global market and maintaining stable economic growth can be part of the solution,” Yuan said.
In addition to the Health Commission, several ministries such as the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment have announced restructuring plans.