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Chinese hospitals prepare for baby boom

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Chinese hospitals will be required to add more beds and increase pay for midwives to cope with an expected baby boom as a result of the country’s loosened one-child policy.

The National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) will promulgate a set of measures to boost the capacity of health institutions to cope with the annual increase of two million babies, Zhang Shikun, an official in charge of women and children’s health under the NHFPC, said at a press conference on Thursday.

China loosened its decades-long one-child population policy, allowing couples to have two children if one of them is an only child, according to a key decision of the Communist Party of China (CPC) released in November 2013, reported Xinhua.

The shortage of beds has become universal, vice minister of the NHFPC Wang Guoqiang said Thursday, citing the findings of his tour in grassroots communities.

The NHFPC will urge local authorities to build more health institutions for women and children’s health and ask hospitals to offer better health services and recruit more midwives, according to Zhang.

Other measures include strict control of Caesarean delivery rates, increased advocacy for breastfeeding and the prevention and treatment of birth defects, she said.

With inputs from IANS

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