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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has recently approved a $50 million loan to implement the Integrated Elderly Care Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Pilot Project in Yichang City in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The project was recommended by CDIA in its pre-feasibility study (PFS).
“Our PFS has shown the need for elderly care services that will not only expand the current services but also pave for more integrated and seamless system of care for Yichang’s elderly, which now comprises 20% of its city residents,” said Zhang Yu, CDIA’s Senior Project Development Specialist in China.
The existing elderly care facilities at present are inefficient in both nature and volume to meet the current and future demands. Likewise, there is no standardization of services from the dedicated aged care facilities that cater to residents and outpatients. And, the overall knowledge and skills of health care providers, as well as long term care insurance are either lacking or nascent.
To address these gaps, CDIA proposed in its PFS the setting up of one reference facility and three community facilities that will altogether provide for the aged population a mix of in-patient and outpatient health, home, and day care services. In particular, the reference facility is envisaged to have an 800-bed capacity that will serve the needs of the aged who are generally frail and requiring various professional nursing care assistances. The three consolidated community facilities on the other hand are targeted to have 320-. 200-, and 135-bed capacities respectively which will offer various care services for the elderly, including home and day care services for seniors who remain at home yet require specific assistance.
Yet, building an attractive and affordable integrated elderly care system invariably needs various resources, such as capital and expertise, which the private sector can provide. Hence, the Yichang Municipal Government (YMG) opted to implement the project through a PPP mechanism. Such is expected to leverage the public resources and improve service standards, at the same time attract additional financial and human resources to the integrated system.
So that the city government can be able to design, procure, manage, and deliver effective elderly care services through private service providers, the ADB loan was sought. Following a results-based disbursement, the ADB support will help them implement various capacity development activities geared towards increasing their competencies in PPP.
“We are optimistic that with the coming together of various sectors, Yichang City could create a technically and financially sound solution to the needs of its elderly population,” said Ms. Zhang. “We are also hopeful that this project would serve as inspiration for other local governments to capitalize on PPP to deliver essential social services for their people,” she added.