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Guidelines on strengthening family planning work at the community level

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Updated: 2014-08-01

Health and family planning commissions (population and family planning commissions) in provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities; population and family planning commission of Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps:

To act in the spirit of the 18th Party Congress and the second and third plenary sessions of the 18th Central Committee, to implement the Opinions on Adjusting and Improving Fertility Policy issued by the Central Committee and the State Council (hereafter as the Opinions), and to adhere to the basic State policy of family planning, we put forward the following guidelines on how to strengthen family planning work at the community level in an effort to underpin the structural reforms and sustain long-term balanced population growth.

Fully aware of the significance of strengthening primary work

Under the leadership of China’s Central Committee and the State Council (the cabinet), local governments have been attaching great importance to primary work since the country rolled out the family planning policy, all the while adhering to the target management responsibility system and exercising the “one-vote veto” system. Publicity, education, contraception and regular services are among the focuses of family planning work that combines administrative management, technological services and mass work. Huge achievements have been made over the years thanks to concerted efforts from a team that is pragmatic, devoted and can see the big picture, creating a favorable demographic environment for sound and sustained economic development and for building a moderately prosperous society.

China’s population situation has become ever grimmer in the 21st century as the number keeps growing and the structural problem looms large, threatening to weigh on the country’s economic and social development. The 18th Party Congress has made it clear that the country will stick to the basic State policy of family planning, improve the quality of newborns, upgrade the current policy and seek long-term balanced population development. The second plenary session of the 18th Central Committee decided to integrate the Health Department and the Family Planning Department, and the third plenum has loosened control on the one-child policy. Following that, the central Opinions mapped out new plans for overall family planning work. These are major measures that need to be put into practice, which entails strengthened primary work on all fronts so that local governments can provide better family planning services for the mass population, accelerating institutional reforms and government function transformation, steadily implementing the second-child policy, maintaining a relatively low fertility level and seeking long-term balanced population development. With this awareness and in-time innovations, a new era in China’s family planning work may dawn soon enough.

Fundamental principles of family planning work

 i) People-oriented awareness We need to respect people as the main body of the family planning work by providing better services, protecting their legitimate rights and interests, and increasing their satisfaction.

ii) Community level-focused approach We need to complete the family planning network that integrates grassroots workers into a better management system. Staff workers should get more training opportunities and be better paid to become more capable of and more devoted to grassroots work, which therefore entails more investment.

iii) Integrated framework We need to fully tap into the advantages of grassroots health and family planning work with an integrated system and a shared information platform, trying to involve all related departments through communication and coordination.

iv) Management reforms and innovations We need to focus more on humanistic care, interest-oriented mechanisms, publicity and guidance when offering family planning services with better administration according to the law, greater grassroots services management reforms, and a fundamental shift of ideas and approaches.

Objectives of family planning work China will continue to deepen reforms comprehensively within a certain period of time, which as a driving force helps improve family planning mechanisms, policies and systems. The country aims to upgrade the network of management, services and operations; build a high-quality primary healthcare team; and set up a long-term mechanism that integrates publicity and education, legal management, community-level self-governance, quality services and effective policies. Meanwhile, the nation will lead efforts to modernize the family planning management system and improve the management capabilities so as to better carry out the State policy, constantly adjust the child-bearing policy, and seek long-term balanced population growth.

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Link: China's Central Government / World Health Organization / United Nations Population Fund / UNICEF in China

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