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Shenzhen experiments with privatisation of senior care infra

China’s third-largest city has launched a pilot PPP aimed at scaling up facilities designed to meet the needs of its rapidly growing elderly population.

Vanke, one of the largest real estate developers in China, has teamed up with the Shenzhen government to develop the first PPP senior community project in the city of ten million. 

The developer has taken over the management and started work on project development this month. The scheme will transform the existing government-run community centre for senior residents in the Futian district into a 420-bed facility with a variety of amenities including day care and medical-nursing services. 

Vanke said it was chosen as the preferred bidder in November and signed the PPP contract on 28 December. The investment size was not disclosed. Vanke had not responded to requests for comment by press time. 

The project is a pilot scheme to turn government-run senior care facilities into private operations under a PPP framework. The government looks to reform the industry by introducing private capital into the projects, in order to improve service quality and make the city’s healthcare facilities more up to the task.

Shenzhen, despite being a relatively young city, is facing the challenge of a rapidly growing elderly population, said Vanke’s chairman Wang Shi. According to government statistics, senior citizens accounted for 5.6 percent of Futian district’s 1.44 million population in 2015.

Vanke said the company has committed to nearly 130 senior care projects across the country, over 70 of which are now operational.