China’s com­mit­ment to health af­firmed

The fol­low­ing is the full text of the speech de­liv­ered by Premier LiKe­qiang at the open­ing cer­e­mony of the Ninth Global Con­fer­ence onHealth Pro­mo­tion

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA -

Dr Mar­garet Chan, Di­rec­tor-Gen­eral theWorldHealth Or­ga­ni­za­tion, Dis­tin­guished Guests, Ladies and Gen­tle­men, Friends, Good morn­ing.

Hof ealth is a cor­ner­stone for the com­pre­hen­sive de­vel­op­ment and well-be­ing of the peo­ple, and a hall­mark of na­tional pros­per­ity and so­cial progress. On the oc­ca­sion of the Ninth Global Con­fer­ence on Health Pro­mo­tion, I wish to ex­tend, on be­half of the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment, warm congratulations on the open­ing of the con­fer­ence and a sin­cere wel­come to all the dis­tin­guished guests.

This con­fer­ence co­in­cides with the 30th an­niver­sary of the first In­ter­na­tional Con­fer­ence on Health Pro­mo­tion. Three decades ago, the Ot­tawaChar­ter in­tro­duced the con­cept of “health pro­mo­tion”, which has since guided the de­vel­op­ment of the health cause world­wide. Three decades on, thanks to the joint ef­forts of coun­tries around the world and the hard work of the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion, the world av­er­age life ex­pectancy has in­creased by over eight years. Ma­ter­nal and in­fant mor­tal­ity rate and that of chil­dren un­der five have been low­ered by 50 per­cent on av­er­age, which is a big mile­stone in the his­tory of hu­man health.

At the same time, weshould be aware that we are still con­fronted with daunt­ing global health chal­lenges. While tra­di­tional dis­eases, health is­sues and inequal­ity in health re­main acute, a faster ag­ing pop­u­la­tion, greater trans-border flows of peo­ple, the evolv­ing spec­trum of dis­ease and the chang­ing en­vi­ron­ment and life­styles are cre­at­ing new prob­lems. The threat of mul­ti­ple dis­eases and our vul­ner­a­bil­ity to health risks have both risen. The slug­gish world eco­nomic re­cov­ery and di­ver­gent trends of eco­nomic growth have added to the dif­fi­culty of en­sur­ing the ef­fec­tive sup­ply and the bal­anced and rea­son­able al­lo­ca­tion of health re­sources. Pro­mot­ing health re­mains an ar­du­ous taskand­noth­ing short of con­certed in­ter­na­tional ef­forts is re­quired for truly de­liv­er­ing the goal of “health for all”.

This year marks the start of the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the 2030 Agenda for Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment. The theme of this con­fer­ence “health pro­mo­tion in the sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment goals” high­lights the im­por­tant role of health pro­mo­tion in global sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment en­deavor. Dis­cus­sions around this theme will go a long way to pro­mot­ing con­sen­sus build­ing and syn­ergy for the full im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Sus­tain­ableDevel­op­men­tGoals. In­this con­nec­tion, I would like to put for­ward the fol­low­ing sug­ges­tions.

• We should en­hance pol­icy di­a­logue and build a plat­form for health gov­er­nance co­op­er­a­tion. Health pro­mo­tion is the com­mon en­deavor of mankind. We should to­gether build a com­mu­nity of shared fu­ture and take con­crete ac­tions to ad­vance co­op­er­a­tion. We need to build a mul­ti­level and wide-rang­ing in­sti­tu­tional plat­form for di­a­logue and co­op­er­a­tion and sup­port the WHO’s ef­forts to lead, co­or­di­nate and im­ple­ment global health pro­grams. Ef­forts should also be made to im­prove health leg­is­la­tion in our re­spec­tive coun­tries and tighten reg­u­la­tion on health­im­pair­ing in­vest­ment and trad­ing ac­tiv­i­ties through fis­cal, tax­a­tion and fi­nan­cial pol­icy tools.

At the same time, we need to uphold the prin­ci­ple of com­mon but dif­fer­en­ti­ated re­spon­si­bil­i­tiesand­in­crease the rep­re­sen­ta­tion and voice of de­vel­op­ing coun­tries. De­vel­oped coun­tries should shoul­der more re­spon­si­bil­ityand­sup­port­de­vel­op­ing coun­tries. We should work to­gether to make global health gov­er­nance fairer and more rea­son­able.

• We should put in place an in­clu­sive and in­ter­con­nected sys­tem for the pre­ven­tion and con­trol of global pub­lic health haz­ards. No coun­try can stay im­mune to ma­jor pub­lic health chal­lenges. Coun­tries need to bet­ter co­or­di­nate health emer­gency prac­tices, im­prove global mech­a­nisms for dis­ease sur­veil­lance, early-warn­ing and emer­gency re­sponse, strengthen no­ti­fi­ca­tion, in­for­ma­tion shar­ing and per­son­nel train­ing, and fur­ther im­prove global ca­pac­ity to ad­dress pub­lic health emer­gen­cies. The Chi­nese gov­ern­ment sup­ports the WHO in putting to­gether its global health emer­gency task force and con­tin­gency fund. We urge de­vel­oped coun­tries to step up sup­port to de­vel­op­ing coun­tries in im­prov­ing their pub­lic health sys­tems, and to­gether build up stronger lines of de­fense for global health.

• We should en­hance the ca­pac­ity for health sup­ply and ser­vices through co­op­er­a­tion on in­no­va­tion. Sci­en­tific and tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tion is the golden key to health. Coun­tries need to en­hance re­search and de­vel­op­ment of health tech­nolo­gies, ac­tively con­duct bi­lat­eral and mul­ti­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion, in­clud­ing joint re­search on fron­tier and in­no­va­tive tech­nolo­gies, and tackle com­mon health haz­ards fac­ing mankind to­gether. We need to ex­pand the net­work for ex­change and co­op­er­a­tion in such ar­eas as the pre­ven­tion and con­trol of an­timi­cro­bial re­sis­tance, ad­vanced health tech­nolo­gies, drug re­search and de­vel­op­ment, en­ergy-sav­ing, emis­sions re­duc­tion and the treat­ment of pollution, and build plat­forms for en­trepreneur­ship and in­no­va­tion. There should be wider ap­pli­ca­tion and shar­ing of sci­en­tific and tech­no­log­i­cal progress to bring greater ben­e­fits to more peo­ple.

• We should en­cour­age mu­tual learning and pro­mote greater in­te­gra­tion be­tween tra­di­tional and mod­ern med­i­cal sci­ences. Through­out his­tory, dif­fer­ent coun­tries and na­tions have de­vel­oped their own views of health and ac­quired dis­tinct strengths in the form of tra­di­tional medicine. Dif­fer­ences in med­i­cal prac­tices should be em­braced with equal­ity and open-mind­ed­ness, and cul­tural ex­changes be en­cour­aged as a use­ful way to pro­mote health co­op­er­a­tion. We should en­cour­age mu­tual learning on the views and cul­ture of health. We need to bet­ter­pro­mote­tra­di­tional medicine, make bet­ter use of their strengths in pre­vent­ing and treat­ing dis­eases, and ac­tively de­velop ser­vices trade in tra­di­tional medicine. By lev­er­ag­ing the com­ple­men­tar­ity be­tween tra­di­tional and mod­ern med­i­cal sci­ences, we will make new­con­tri­bu­tions to hu­man health. Ladies and Gen­tle­men, Friends, China has been a strong ad­vo­cate and firm prac­ti­tioner of health pro­mo­tion. Since the found­ing of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic, in par­tic­u­lar since re­form and open­ing-up, China has vig­or­ously ex­panded health­care ser­vices de­spite a rel­a­tively un­der­de­vel­oped econ­omy. We have sig­nif­i­cantly im­proved the health of our peo­ple, and found a path of health de­vel­op­ment con­sis­tent with China’s na­tional con­di­tions. In 2009, China started a new round of health­care re­form. We iden­ti­fied a core ob­jec­tive, which is to of­fer ba­sic health­care ser­vices to all peo­ple as a pub­lic good, and out­lined the prin­ci­ple of en­sur­ing ba­sic lev­els of health­care, strength­en­ing com­mu­nity health ser­vices and build­ing up health­care net­works.

Im­por­tant progress has been made in this di­rec­tion. We put in place a sys­tem of ba­sic Premier Li Ke­qiang med­i­cal in­surance that cov­ers the en­tire pop­u­la­tion of over 1.3 bil­lion peo­ple, of­fer­ing an in­sti­tu­tional guar­an­tee for uni­ver­sal ac­cess. We im­proved the ba­sic ru­ral health ser­vice net­work at county, town­ship and vil­lage lev­els and the sys­tem of ur­ban com­mu­nity health ser­vices, mak­ing such ser­vices more con­ve­nient and ac­ces­si­ble for our peo­ple. We took vig­or­ous mea­sures to pro­mote equal ac­cess to pub­lic health ser­vices and of­fered ba­sic pub­lic health ser­vices for all ur­ban and ru­ral res­i­dents for free. Our spend­ing on pub­lic health ser­vices has been grow­ing year by year and will con­tinue to grow. We worked out a Chi­nese so­lu­tion to ad­vance health­care re­form, which is a world­wide chal­lenge.

China’s av­er­age life ex­pectancy now stands at 76.3 years. Ma­ter­nal mor­tal­ity rate has been re­duced to 20.1 per 100,000 and in­fant mor­tal­ity rate to 8.1 per 1,000, gen­er­ally bet­ter than the av­er­age level in mid­dle­and high-in­come coun­tries. For the largest de­vel­op­ing coun­try with over 1.3 bil­lion peo­ple, such ac­com­plish­ments are no mean feat.

China is at a de­ci­sive stage of build­ing a mod­er­ately pros­per­ous so­ci­ety in all re­spects. At the re­cently held Na­tional Health Con­fer­ence, the first in the new cen­tury, Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping out­lined in an im­por­tant speech the over­all guide­lines, tar­gets and tasks for build­ing a healthy China from a strate­gic and over­ar­ch­ing per­spec­tive and pro­posed prin­ci­ples for health-re­lated work. We will fo­cus on the grass­roots, pur­sue re­form and in­no­va­tion as a driv­ing force and dis­ease pre­ven­tion as the pri­or­ity, give im­por­tance to both tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicine and Western medicine, in­cor­po­rate health into all pol­icy-mak­ing, and strive for par­tic­i­pa­tion by all and ben­e­fits to all. We pro­mul­gated the Out­line ofHealthy China 2030 Plan with the aim to pro­vide all-di­men­sional, whole-of-the-life-cy­cle health ser­vices for all by 2030, in­crease av­er­age life ex­pectancy to 79 years, and reach high-in­come coun­tries’ level in main health in­di­ca­tors. With this in mind, we will make re­lent­less ef­forts in the fol­low­ing ar­eas:

• We will take health as a strate­gic pri­or­ity to ad­vance health in tan­dem with eco­nomic and so­cial progress. We will pri­or­i­tize health in de­vel­op­ment plan­ning, high­light health tar­gets in eco­nomic and so­cial pro­grams, give more weight to health in draft­ing and im­ple­ment­ing pub­lic poli­cies, and meet health de­mand in fis­cal spend­ing, with a view to pro­vid­ing ba­sic health ser­vices for all.

• We will build a whole-process health pro­mo­tion sys­tem to pro­tect peo­ple’s health through­out the life cy­cle. There are many fac­tors af­fect­ing peo­ple’s health from the be­gin­ning to theendof life. We need to pro­vide whole-of-the-life-cy­cle health ser­vices for the peo­ple. Ef­fec­tive mea­sures will be taken for pre­ven­tion, health­care and greater in­ter­ven­tion to make peo­ple healthier and less vul­ner­a­ble. We will en­hance health ed­u­ca­tion, spread health knowl­edge and skills, deepen fit­ness cam­paigns for all, raise peo­ple’s health aware­ness and sense of re­spon­si­bil­ity, and­fos­ter anewhealth sys­tem in which all peo­ple will par­tic­i­pate, con­trib­ute and ben­e­fit. We will strengthen pre­ven­tion and con­trol of ma­jor dis­eases, im­prove pre­ven­tion and treat­ment prac­tices, en­force cross-agency holis­tic mea­sures at all lev­els, and re­duce dam­age to peo­ple’s health from ma­jor dis­eases. We will in­ten­sify pollution treat­ment and fos­ter a sound en­vi­ron­ment for peo­ple’s health.

• We will work hard to im­prove com­mu­nity-level health­care­and­strengthen weak links to in­crease fair­ness and ac­ces­si­bil­ity of health ser­vices. The big­gest weak link in China’s health sys­tem lies at the com­mu­nity level, in ru­ral and poor ar­eas in par­tic­u­lar. We will co­or­di­nate ur­ban and ru­ral de­vel­op­ment and pur­sue a new type of ur­ban­iza­tion, make more re­sources avail­able for com­mu­nity-level health pro­grams. Com­mu­ni­ties must be equipped with greater ca­pac­ity of dis­ease pre­ven­tion and con­trol through cul­ti­vat­ing gen­eral physi­cians and pro­vid­ing long-dis­tance med­i­cal treat­ment and paired-up as­sis­tance. The ad­van­tages of tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicine must be har­nessed to widen the avail­abil­ity of med­i­cal care and health ser­vices. We will im­ple­ment healthre­lated poverty-al­le­vi­a­tion pro­grams, in­ten­sify sup­port for poor ar­eas in in­surance for ma­jor dis­eases and med­i­cal as­sis­tance, pre­vent dis­ease-in­duced poverty, and nar­row the gap in ba­sic health ser­vices be­tween ur­ban and ru­ral ar­eas and among dif­fer­ent re­gions and groups of peo­ple.

• We will con­tinue to deepen health­care re­form and set up ba­sic health­care sys­tems that cover ur­ban and ru­ral ar­eas. Our re­form in this area is now in a deep­wa­ter zone, which calls for greater courage and wis­dom. We will fur­ther deepen pub­lic hos­pi­tal re­form, quicken the de­vel­op­ment of tiered med­i­cal ser­vices, cut red tape and en­hance co­or­di­na­tion among med­i­cal and health­care in­sti­tu­tions at var­i­ous lev­els and of dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories. This way, we hope to pro­vide high-qual­ity med­i­cal ser­vices to our peo­ple, and help com­mu­nity-level med­i­cal in­sti­tu­tions im­prove their per­for­mances. Progress has been made in en­cour­ag­ing big, medium-sized and small hos­pi­tals and town­ship hos­pi­tals to es­tab­lish the Health Care Al­liance, which would make med­i­cal ser­vices more ac­ces­si­ble and af­ford­able for the peo­ple.

• We will build up a na­tion­wide ba­sic med­i­cal in­surance sys­tem, re­form the way of mak­ing med­i­cal in­surance pay­outs, merge the ba­sic med­i­cal in­surance sys­tems for ru­ral and non-work­ing ur­ban res­i­dents, and es­tab­lish a na­tion­wide in­for­ma­tion net­work for med­i­cal in­surance to im­prove qual­ity and ef­fi­ciency. We will also re­form the sup­ply sys­tem of phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals to de­liver safe and ef­fec­tive medicines to our peo­ple. We will ad­vance co­or­di­nat­e­drefor­mofmed­i­calser­vices, med­i­cal in­surance and the medicine in­dus­try, mo­ti­vate med­i­cal prac­ti­tion­ers, in­clud­ing by mak­ing their jobs even more dig­ni­fied, and en­hance the vi­tal­ity and sus­tain­abil­ity of med­i­cal and health­care sys­tems.

• We will vig­or­ously de­velop the health sec­tor to bet­ter meet peo­ple’s in­creas­ingly di­verse health needs. With higher stan­dards of liv­ing and greater aware­ness about health, our peo­ple ex­pect more multi-tiered, di­ver­si­fied and in­di­vid­u­al­ized prod­ucts and ser­vices. To re­spond to their de­mands, gov­ern­ment and the mar­ket both have a role to play. The gov­ern­ment needs to en­sure ba­sic sup­ply, es­pe­cially for the most vul­ner­a­ble groups, while the mar­ket can be more ac­tive in pro­vid­ing non-ba­sic and more di­ver­si­fied health ser­vices. We will en­cour­age in­creased sup­ply of health prod­ucts and ser­vices from non­govern­men­tal sources, and the set­ting-up of pri­vately run hos­pi­tals, thus mak­ing it eas­ier for peo­ple to get more af­ford­able med­i­cal treat­ment. We will sup­port in­no­va­tion in med­i­cal sci­ence and boost in­te­grated de­vel­op­ment be­tween the health sec­tor and oldage care, tourism, the in­ter­net, fit­ness and re­cre­ation and food in­dus­tries. We will also pro­mote mass in­no­va­tion and en­trepreneur­ship in the health sec­tor and prac­tice the “In­ter­net Plus Health” ac­tion plan, so that new in­dus­tries, new busi­nesses and new­mod­els will thrive in this sec­tor.

China has been ac­tively calling for and con­tribut­ing to global health co­op­er­a­tion, and has ful­filled its in­ter­na­tional re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and obli­ga­tions. Dur­ing the past half cen­tury, China has sent over 20,000 med­i­cal staff to 67 coun­tries and re­gions, treat­ing pa­tients over 260 mil­lion times. China has con­trib­uted its share to the fight against the ebola epi­demic that broke out in­West Africa in 2014. China moved promptly to dis­patch over 1,200 med­i­cal staff and pub­lic health ex­perts, who fought against the dis­ease side by side with the peo­ple in the af­fected coun­tries. China highly ap­pre­ci­ates the prom­i­nent role that the WHO has played over the years in curb­ing com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases and co­or­di­nat­ing global health af­fairs. Un­der the frame­work of the UN and the WHO, China will con­tinue to ac­tively par­tic­i­pate in global health pro­mo­tion ef­forts and do its best to pro­vide as­sis­tance to other de­vel­op­ing coun­tries.

ad­dresses the open­ing cer­e­mony of the Ninth Global Con­fer­ence on Health Pro­mo­tion in Shang­hai on Mon­day.

Ladies and Gen­tle­men, Friends, Health is an eter­nal pur­suit of mankind, and health pro­mo­tion is the shared re­spon­si­bil­ity of the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity. Let us work to­gether to make our world a bet­ter and healthier place!

In con­clu­sion, I wish this con­fer­ence full suc­cess.

Thank you.

RAO AIMIN / XIN­HUA

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