China braces for potential rising birthrate

China braces for potential rising birthrate
Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013
China Daily/Asia News Network
By Xu Wei, Wang Hongyi

CHINA - Family planning and health authorities at local levels said they will brace for the loosening of the one-child policy and be ready to respond to a potential rise in birthrate.

Couples with one spouse who is an only child will be permitted to have two children under a decision announced on Friday by the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee.

The Beijing Commission of Health and Family Planning has researched the possible effect of the policy change on the city's population and is prepared, said Li Lehua, a publicity official with the commission.

However, under population and family planning law, the decision to change the policy in a provincial region must be made by the Standing Committee of the People's Congress in that region, which means couples interested in having a second child need to wait until lawmakers authorise the change.

The conference of the standing committee at a provincial level is held every two months.

The Beijing Health Bureau told the Beijing Morning Post that many maternal- and child-care service centers in the city are developing plans to expand the number of hospital beds and improve service to cope with the potential increase in new births.

The Guangdong provincial commission of health and family planning said it will work out measures to enable its eligible residents to take advantage of the policy as soon as possible.

The Shanghai Health and Family Planning Commission announced on Monday that it will research and devise a plan and supporting policies for implementing the new policy.

It posted on its micro blog that the revised policy is expected to alleviate 19 consecutive years of negative growth in Shanghai's population and provide a solution to the growing aging community and lack of children in families.

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