China is planning to offer free fertility treatment to citizens under its national insurance scheme to reverse its declining birth rate.
The National Health Care Security Administration announced Sunday that it will expand its coverage to help defray the costs of families trying to conceive.
That said The new coverage will include assisted reproductive technology (ART) techniques and will also cover labor analgesia to reduce pain during childbirth.
The administration cited China’s declining population as one of the biggest obstacles to national development and stressed that it had already added ovulation-inducing drugs to its coverage, so that “infertile can help reduce pin load.
The expanded coverage is part of a broader effort by Chinese authorities to encourage more people to marry and have more children.
The country’s birth rate has been falling for years, and last year the country recorded its first population decline in more than 60 years.
According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the country’s population will shrink to 1.411 billion in 2022, a decrease of 850,000 people from the previous year.
At the same time, the birth rate fell to a record low of 6.77 births per 1,000 people. About 9.56 million babies were born in 2022, compared to 10.62 million in 2021.
Policymakers are increasingly concerned about the impact of China’s growing demographic crisis on economic growth.
China introduced a highly controversial “one-child” policy decades ago to address concerns about overpopulation and reduce poverty, but it was decided to end it in 2015 over concerns. When a rapidly growing population and a shrinking workforce can threaten economic and social stability.
Initially, it allowed couples to have up to two children, but later relaxed the policy to allow up to three.
Chinese authorities are also moving to lift restrictions on the birth registration of children born to unmarried parents in a country where unwed mothers still face stigma.
In February, the provincial health commission of Sichuan – home to more than 83 million people – said it would allow single parents to register their children’s births, a move that would allow them to register their children’s births. Provided access to specific benefits for couples. These benefits include maternity insurance that covers prenatal health care, medical expenses related to childbirth and paid maternity leave.
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