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February 21, 2012

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

City sets a record for longer life

Babies born in Shanghai last year can expect to live to the ripe old age of 82.51 on average, a national record, the Shanghai Health Bureau said yesterday in a report on the city's health services.

Life expectancy has been climbing steadily from 81.73 years in 2009 to 82.13 in 2010 and 82.51 last year.

The figure for males is 80.23 years and for females 84.80.

Nationwide, life expectancy is an average of around 73 years.

Meanwhile, the city's maternal mortality fell from 9.61 per 100,000 in 2010 to 7.36 per 100,000 last year, figures on a par with developed countries.

Infant mortality also dropped to 5.70 per 1,000 from 5.97 in 2010 and 6.58 in 2009 due to improved health care, wider coverage of health education and increased awareness of prenatal care.

The health bureau said that life expectancy and maternal and infant mortality rates were the main indicators of the level of medical services and living standards.

"Shanghai equals developed countries and regions in all these indicators," said Song Guofan, a bureau official who attributed the figures to improvements in the city's health services and continuing reform.

Last year, Shanghai promoted reforms aimed at ensuring fair access to basic health care.

It offered subsidies to rural women who gave birth to their babies in hospital, free screening for breast and cervical cancer and free folic acid for rural women planning to have children or who were in early pregnancy.

Shanghai introduced a drugs system in February last year, when all neighborhood health centers began to sell drugs on a non-profit basis. This reduced prices by 39 percent.

An e-health system featuring a digital database of residents was established enabling information sharing in six pilot districts, the bureau said.

Disease prevention and control was also highlighted, with the intensified supervision of serious infectious diseases and the promotion of vaccinations ensuring that more than 99 percent of children were covered.

Infectious diseases remained at a record low, the bureau said.

Last year, Shanghai hospitals offered 202 million outpatient and emergency services, a 5.57 percent increase from 2010, and conducted 1.12 million in-patient operations.

Authorities also cracked down on 2,830 unlicensed clinics last year. A total of 68 people were charged with crimes.

In addition, 20 pharmaceutical companies were included on a blacklist after offering bribes to doctors and hospital officials.


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