CDPF chairwoman: Accelerate development of care services for people with severe disabilities
Zhang Haidi speaks at the third plenary meeting of the second session of the 13th CPPCC National Committee in Beijing on Mar 10. [photo/Xinhua]
China must accelerate the development of care services for people with severe disabilities, said Zhang Haidi, chairwoman of the China Disabled Persons’ Federation, in her keynote speech at the third plenary meeting of the second session of the 13th CPPCC National Committee in Beijing on Mar 10.
There are 85 million people with disabilities in China, accounting for 6.34 percent of the total population. More than 25 million of them have severe disabilities, and nearly 10 million are in need of care services, but only about one million can get the services they need, according to Zhang.
The poor people with severe disabilities do not have the ability to live independently. In order to care for them, family members cannot go to work, so many families are in poverty. Therefore, social care services are the most urgent practical need of severely disabled people and their relatives in China.
Zhang said she wants all people with disabilities to avoid poverty and live a sustainably happy life. Care services for people with severe disabilities can reduce burdens for their families.
Care services are part of the basic public services of the society, and providing care services to people with severe disabilities is also an important aspect of poverty alleviation in China. Care institutions, established by the government and social organizations, can receive unattended and unaccompanied people with disabilities and provide them with care services, rehabilitation and medical assistance to ensure the quality of their lives. This work requires the government’s support and the help of the whole society.
By the end of 2018, there were more than 8,400 care institutions nationwide, nearly double the number at the end of 2012.
Although a system for subsidies for people with severe disabilities is currently in place, poor and low-income areas still lack sufficient funds to support care services. From a nationwide perspective, there is still a lack of uniform systems, standards and financial guarantees for the care of people with disabilities, and the quality and management level of care services need to be improved.
In order to help people with severe disabilities, Zhang put forward three suggestions. First, improve supporting policies and measures for care services for people with severe disabilities, and improve the financial security system. It is recommended that government further strengthen basic public services, improve the subsidy system, purchase evaluation and supervision services for the care of people with disabilities, and strive to provide better care for these with severe disabilities.
Second, accelerate the development of care services for people with severe disabilities in rural areas. Make full use of the existing senior care institutions, welfare facilities, medical institutions, and idle rural collective resources to establish a rural disabled care service system based on the community and care centers, and strengthen the basic public services for people with disabilities in rural area.
Third, improve the professional level of care services. Include care services providers in the range of professional skills so that they will be cultivated in accordance with specialization and professionalization.