Migration challenges family planning

Updated: 2012-04-13 22:44


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BEIJING - China's family planning service, which has effectively implemented the one-child policy over three decades, is facing challenges from the increasing migrant population, said a senior family planning official in Beijing Friday.

The number of married women of childbearing age in the country's migrant population totaled 67 million last year, accounting for about 25 percent of the national figure, said Wang Xia, minister in charge of the State Population and Family Planning Commission.

Among the mothers in the migrant population, more than 60 percent have given birth to their children in places far away from where they hold their household registrations, Wang said.

Every Chinese person must be registered in a household and the household certificate, or hukou, is closely related to social security and public services.

Expectant mothers who live away from their household registration locations will not receive healthcare and birth control covered by the medical insurance program, or other services offered by local governments. Meanwhile, the family planning authorities aren't always able to monitor whether they give birth to more than one child.

The current family planning service does have some weaknesses, for example, lack of investment in the development of national database and quality of service, Wang said.

Over the next 20 years, more than 300 million rural residents are expected to move into cities and it remains a big problem how to incorporate them into the public services system, he said.

This year, the commission will work to improve the cooperation between rural and urban areas so as to better monitor the flow of the migrant population and reach to as many migrant couples as possible for family planning education, he said.

In addition, it will push local governments to include migrant couples in public services, such as free medical examination before birth plan which aims to lower the risks of genetic diseases, he said.

The free medical examination before birth plan will be expanded to 60 percent of counties and urban districts this year, according to Wang.

The commission also planned to improve the community-based information collecting system and the national database of migrant population, he said.

China now has 230 million migrant people.

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