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February 11, 2010

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

Shanghai's residents live life to the fullest

SHANGHAINESE people are living longer, with an average life span of 81.73 years in 2009, eclipsing the record of 81.28 set in 2008.

The longevity figures were part of a comprehensive set of statistics released yesterday by the Shanghai Health Bureau.

The average life span for the registered male population of the city was 79.42 years, up from the previous year's 79.06, while females had a mean figure of 84.06 years from 83.5.

The maternal mortality rate last year was 9.61 in every 100,000, close to the average in developed countries for the first time.

The death rate of infants was 6.58 in every 1,000.

Life span and maternal and infant mortality rates are the three major data reflecting a country or a region's medical-service standards and people's general wellbeing.

"All the three data in Shanghai are in line with developed countries," said Xu Jianguang, director of the health bureau.

Xu said this was a direct result of health-care development and increased medical capabilities.

In addition to routine health care, he said Shanghai had made great achievements in health reform and in combating swine flu and other major infectious diseases last year.

The incidence of severe infectious diseases last year was 195.37 in every 100,000, the lowest level in Shanghai since record-keeping began.

Last year, the city's hospitals offered 171 million outpatient and emergency services, 13.81 percent higher than in 2008.

Medical staff performed 807,700 operations last year, 14.5 percent up from 2008.

Ambulances offered 430,200 services and transported 396,100 patients last year, with both figures city records and No. 1 in the nation.

According to health officials, pre-hospital first aid is the key for the survival of patients, especially those in critical conditions.

To meet the growing demand, city health authorities slated 81 ambulances for day-time shifts, 24 percent more than 2008.

Because of this, 70 percent of ambulances reached their destinations within 15 minutes of receiving calls and 95 percent of residents expressed satisfaction with the service.

Shanghai last year kicked off a project to build five big hospitals in rural districts of the Pudong New Area and districts of Minhang, Baoshan and Jiading, upgrade three district-level hospitals in Chongming County and the districts of Qingpu and Fengxian and relocate a hospital to Jinshan's new town.

The ambitious project is expected to be completed in 2013, when the city will have up to 6,000 new beds for people living in rural areas who will receive state-of-the-art medical services.

"It is the largest project with the biggest investment in recent years," Xu said.


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