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Two-child China targeting better public services

Updated: Jan 11,2016 4:46 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China is aiming to improve its maternal and child healthcare and household registration as it implements the two-child policy.

The country has adopted measures to better allocate maternal and child health resources and train more doctors, said Wang Peian, deputy head of the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), at a press conference in Beijing on Jan 11.

According to the NHFPC, 90 million Chinese women are allowed to have a second child under the two-child policy that took effect on Jan 1. Sixty percent of them are over 35 years old and 50 percent are aged 40 or older.

“The new policy has increased the likelihood of later-age pregnancies, which are associated with risks including genetic abnormalities and labor problems. Therefore, we need better maternal and child health services,” said Wang.

The government is urging universities and medical schools to train more midwives and pediatricians, and calling for higher salaries to make these occupations more appealing, according to Yang Wenzhuang, head of the Department of Community Family Planning with the NHFPC.

As part of China’s 13th Five-Year Plan covering 2016-2020, leaders have proposed building more hospitals in the poor western part of the country.

Yang said the NHFPC will strengthen its supervision of local authorities issuing regulations that provide people unregistered for family planning with household registration permits, or “hukou,” a crucial document that entitles people to social welfare such as medical insurance and access to basic education.

Statistics from 2010 show China has around 13 million unregistered people, among which there are some “black children,” second children born illegally under the one-child policy.

“But the portion is small,” added Yang.

China has regulated since the 1980s to ban local authorities from linking household registration to family planning policy.

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