Anniversary for China's Universal 2nd-Child Policy: More Reforms Needed

November 29, 2016
By XinhuaEditor: Penny Huang

 

Anniversary for China's Universal 2nd-Child Policy: More Reforms Needed

The prediction of the number of newborns in China with the change of Family Planning Policy [xinhuanet.com]

 

Is Chinese society well-prepared for the implementation of the Universal Second-Child Policy? The answer may be not positive.

With the one-year anniversary of the change in family planning rules in China, services in hospitals, schools and families are all in need of improvement to keep pace with the baby boom.

Steady Population Growth and Population Structure Optimization

Experts of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences believed that the peak of the baby boom would arrive in 2017 with 5.832 million newborns with the adoption and promotion of the Universal Second-Child Policy, relieving the labor force shortage to some extent.

Meanwhile, this policy also optimized the current severe demographic structure, especially alleviating the problem of an ageing economy, which is beneficial to the social economy.

Hospital: Shortages of Pediatricians and Beds for Children and Pregnant Women

Even though the surge in pregnancies this year following the adoption of the universal second-child policy in China was predictable, the demand of medical services for women and children has severely exceeded supply.

Major obstetrics and gynecology hospitals and maternal and child health care hospitals in the capital Beijing are setting aside more obstetrics beds, increasing the number of medical devices and available staff to meet the expected demand, said the media reports.

Meanwhile, the current situation has also caused heavier pressure on children's health services, which is regarded as the most concerning issue. The beds of children's hospitals are the most overloaded among all medical units, according to a report conducted by China's Health and Family Planning Commission.

In addition, statistics also indicate a severe shortage of pediatricians with 4.3 doctors per 10,000 children in 2015. There are high expectations for the reform of the children's medical and health services system.

Education: Shortages of Kindergartens and Teachers

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the growth rate of the number of kindergartens cannot keep pace with that of newborns especially in the last two years.

More kindergartens are needed to guarantee the rights of eligible children (including disadvantaged groups) to receive preschool education without the educational quality suffering.

At the same time, facing the current situation where the proportion of female teachers are much higher than males on average across China, it is estimated that schools in every level will suffer from the shortage of teachers since most of female teachers are expected to have a second child.

Family: Balance between Career and Life

Experts presented both advantages and disadvantages on having a second child, which will bring significant changes on Chinese families, according to previous media reports.

Precisely, having a second child may reduce the first child's loneliness during their growing up and share their burden on looking after the elderly when parents get retired.

On the other hand, couples may spend more time and money on childcare for a second child thereby affecting their career development especially for women.

 

Anniversary for China's Universal 2nd-Child Policy: More Reforms Needed

The usage of hospital beds in various health and medical institutions [xinhuanet.com]

 

Anniversary for China's Universal 2nd-Child Policy: More Reforms Needed

According to National Bureau of Statistics, the growth rate of the number of kindergartens cannot keep up the pace with that of newborns especially in these two years. [xinhuanet.com]

 

Anniversary for China's Universal 2nd-Child Policy: More Reforms Needed

The proportion of female teachers in primary schools across China [Xinhuanet.com]

 

Anniversary for China's Universal 2nd-Child Policy: More Reforms Needed

Pros and cons of having a second child for family[xinhuanet.com]

 

(Source: Xinhua/Translated and edited by Women of China)

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