China / Society

Beijing expected to implement two-child policy in 2016

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-11-10 21:38

BEIJING - Beijing is expected to implement the two-child policy in 2016 after legislators approve the revision of a law to allow couples to have two children, local authorities said Tuesday.

Fang Laiying, chief of the city's Health and Family Planning Commission, estimated that the city will witness around 300,000 new births next year.

However, already many couples complain that it is difficult to find a bed in hospital when giving birth. Fang pointed out that the problem only happens in top public hospitals where people compete for limited resources.

"There are many vacant beds in other public and private hospitals in Beijing, which can ensure hospital delivery demand in 2016," said Fang.

China introduced its family planning policy in the late 1970s to rein in population growth by limiting most urban couples to one child and most rural couples to two, allowing the birth of a second child if the first child was a girl.

A major policy change at the end of 2013 allowed couples nationwide to have a second child if either parent is an only child.

More than 53,000 couples in Beijing have applied for a second child since the city changed its birth control policy in early 2014.

The Communist Party of China Central Committee announced the scrapping of the current one-child policy in a proposal in late October in order to balance population growth and offset the burden of an aging population.

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