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Expo told new health law ready in 5 years

The new universal health law has been included on the National People's Congress agenda and is expected to be issued within five years, Health Minister Chen Zhu said in Shanghai yesterday.

The law will include all aspects of health care, disease prevention and control and "function as the very basis of all medical practice and health promotion," Chen said.

He was addressing the opening of the three-day International Healthy Lifestyle Expo which features lectures, forums, exhibitions and offers medical checks to promote proper lifestyle and health protection.

"Proper intervention and guidance of people's lifestyle is the key to better health care," Chen said.

China faced severe threat from chronic disease linked to unhealthy personal habits such as smoking, inadequate diet and lack of exercise, he said. Other causes were biological and environmental.

About 18.8 percent of China's adults suffered from hypertension and 6.1 percent of those living in big cities had diabetes, 40 percent higher than 1996.

The nation's top health officer said an important aspect of the health reform plan would be disease prevention and grassroots health services.

Chen added that state authorities were working on a Health 2020 strategy for improvements through education and lifestyle intervention to bring standards in line with medium developed countries.

Among key monitoring points would be reduction in daily consumption of salt from the current average of 12 grams per person to 10 grams by 2015 and 8 grams in 2020.

Other targets would include raising the percentage of people doing regular exercise and those over 35 years who receive yearly blood pressure and glucose checks.


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