Govt con­tin­ues its well-be­ing ini­tia­tive

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By XIN­HUA

Af­ter pro­long­ing peo­ple’s lives, and slash­ing in­fant and ma­ter­nal mor­tal­ity rates, China is poised to be­come health­ier as it builds a mod­er­ately pros­per­ous so­ci­ety across the board.

The goal was crys­tal­lized as the Healthy China strat­egy in the 13th Five-Year Plan (201620). En­list­ing the back­ing of the cen­tral lead­er­ship, the goal of Healthy China looks achiev­able.

Noth­ing is more telling of the coun­try’s progress in the health sec­tor than the im­prove­ment in three main pub­lic health in­di­ca­tors.

Av­er­age life ex­pectancy in China surged from 35 dur­ing the early years of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of China, founded in 1949, to over 76 in 2015.

The in­fant mor­tal­ity rate dropped from 20 per­cent im­me­di­ately af­ter the PRC was founded to 0.81 per­cent last year, while the ma­ter­nal mor­tal­ity rate dropped from 1,500 of ev­ery 100,000 in 1949 to about 20 of ev­ery 100,000 in 2015, ac­cord­ing to sta­tis­tics re­leased by the Na­tional Health and Fam­ily Plan­ning Com­mis­sion.

Li Bin, head of the com­mis­sion, at­trib­uted the suc­cess to gov­ern­ment com­mit­ment and lead­er­ship in pro­tect­ing and pro­mot­ing the health of the gen­eral pub­lic.

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping un­der­scored the sig­nif­i­cance of Healthy China on dif­fer­ent oc­ca­sions in re­cent years, from say­ing that there would be no all-around well-be­ing with­out health for all the peo­ple, and urg­ing food-pro­duc­ing en­ter­prises to pro­duce high qual­ity prod­ucts to en­sure safety.

While meet­ing the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion di­rec­tor­gen­eral Mar­garet Chan in July, Xi said en­abling all Chi­nese peo­ple to ac­cess qual­ity health­care ser­vices is a sig­nif­i­cant part of China’ s Two Cen­ten­nial Goals—to build an al­laround mod­er­ately pros­per­ous so­ci­ety by 2020 and to build a mod­ern so­cial­ist coun­try by the mid­dle of the 21st cen­tury.

The coun­try con­tin­ues to be held back by struc­tural prob­lems in its med­i­cal sys­tem, such as lack of af­ford­abil­ity and other is­sues that put stress on its pub­lic hos­pi­tals. It launched a newround of med­i­cal re­forms in 2009.

In April 2015, the 11th meet­ing of the Cen­tral Lead­ing Group for Deep­en­ing Over­all Re­form en­dorsed new guide­lines on pub­lic hos­pi­tal re­form.

In De­cem­ber 2015, the 19th meet­ing of the Cen­tral Lead­ing Group for Deep­en­ing Over­all Re­form adopted a doc­u­ment to merge China’s two med­i­cal in­sur­ance schemes for ur­ban and ru­ral res­i­dents in a bid to guar­an­tee equal ac­cess to ba­sic health­care.

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