The China Philanthropy Research Institute of Beijing Normal University recently published an analysis by Chai Yuyang (柴宇阳) looking at the Beijing governments’ procurement of services for the elderly.
Since the Ministry of Finance and another four departments published the “Notice regarding government procurement of aged care services” on August 26, 2014, many local governments have begun to follow this policy. Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Guangdong and 11 provinces have published relevant documents, while Tianjin and Shanghai have put aged care services into their procurement lists.
After exploring the issue for a few years, Beijing now has a service procurement mechanism in place tailored to the city’s needs for developing its aged care industry. According to the Beijing Bureau of Civil Affairs, care for the elderly is one of the basic public goods on the city’s government procurement list, and it is categorised into household/community/institutional aged care, mental health of the elderly and aged care talents training. Within Beijing, the Haidian and Fengtai districts are doing particularly well.
Based on the data shown on the Beijing government procurement website, there are a total of 107 aged care projects for bids. The city level and the Fengtai district have 24 projects, while most other areas have under 10. The city-level projects enjoy the highest number of successful biddings, with most of them in the categories of communication infrastructure and services. The bidders are companies from industries such as communication technology, construction and interior design, aged care and consulting. Since 2016, the total number of aged care projects procurement had seen a steady increase, reaching its peak in July.
According to Chai’s analysis, in general Beijing’s governments at different levels all value the importance of resources in both hardware ( for instance communication and housing infrastructure) and software (research and talents training) for providing aged care. Some projects require a high level of expertise, and the governments have been proactive about engaging with social organizations and capitalizing on their strengths. Still, there are challenges for providing good care for senior citizens. Local governments have been exploring this field without a guiding document setting some standards. Many needs of the elderly aren’t addressed sufficiently or at all by the current projects, especially in areas like mental health and legal assistance.