BEIJING, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- The rapidly aging population in China poses a great threat to the sustainability of the health insurance fund, said a Chinese social security official during the China Health Forum hosted in Beijing Thursday.
Hu Xiaoyi, vice minister of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, said retirees across China accounted for 25 percent of the total population covered by health insurance for urban employees in 2009, but they used up 60 percent of health insurance funding as patients receiving inpatient care during 2009.
"With the number of the aged population growing continuously, the threat would loom larger," said Hu.
According to a report released by the China National Committee on Aging in July, the number of retirees covered by health insurance among urban employees, as well as aged residents covered by health insurance for non-employed urban residents, the two types of health insurance policies catering to urban dwellers, totaled over 60 million people.
Also according to the same report, China now has an aging population of 167 million, making up 12.5 percent of the population, 0.5 percentage points higher year on year. The average life expectancy in China is now 73 years.
The China Health Forum, sponsored by the Ministry of Health, State Food and Drug Administration and the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, is continuing from Thursday through Saturday.
The Forum invites experts from the government, academia and international organizations to discuss issues facing China' s current health reform.