Expert: Elderly care should be recognized as a respectable career

The Chinese population is getting older and older. In Beijing, one in four people is aged sixty or above. This places enormous pressure on resources and how to deal with an ageing society will be a question for both the current and future generations. Official data show by the end of last year, 250 million Chinese were 60 or older, while more than 40 million senior citizens were disabled or semi-disabled.  According to international standards, China needs at least 13 million nurses to properly serve those in need of care. But there are only 44,000 certified senior care workers in China. Last month, China rolled out measures to improve training quality for nurses and care-providers, focusing on university and college students. Health majors, such as care in traditional Chinese medicine, rehab therapy, nursing and social work are being set up.  So how do we address this problem? What can the government and society do to attract more human resource to this sector? Professor Zheng Zhenzhen, from the Institute of Population and Labor Economics, with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, gives her insight on this issue.