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August 22, 2016

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Xi highlights role of health in China’s development

FULL protection of people’s health should be given priority in China’s development strategy, President Xi Jinping told a two-day national meeting in Beijing which ended on Saturday.

“The all-round moderately prosperous society could not be achieved without people’s all-round health,” Xi said, urging efforts to promote healthy lifestyles, strengthen health services, improve health protection, build a healthy environment and develop health-related industries.

Health is a prerequisite for people’s all-round development, a precondition for economic and social development, and a common aspiration of all people, Xi said.

Since it was founded, the Communist Party of China had paid great attention to the correlation between people’s health and national independence and liberation, he said.

Xi expressed his respect and thanks for the dedication of health workers nationwide in safeguarding people’s health.

However, he pointed out that factors such as industrialization, urbanization and an aging population, combined with changes in the environment and people’s lifestyles, presented multiple and complex risks to health.

“China is facing health problems that occur in developing countries as well as developed countries,” Xi said. “If these problems are not effectively addressed, people’s health may be seriously undermined and economic development and social stability will also be compromised.”

Xi stressed that work to ensure people’s health should focus on the grassroots and use reform and innovation to create momentum. He urged the inclusion of health in government policies, to ensure that all people enjoy the health benefits of such policies.

Xi called for an improved system and quality of basic medical services so the public can enjoy accessible and continuous health services which cover prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.

The health of young children and students in less-developed areas should be emphasized alongside the need to provide proper nutrition, he said, pointing out the need for care of other key groups such as pregnant women, infants and senior citizens.

Xi said a sound environment is the cornerstone of people’s lives and health, stressing that green development must be implemented and the “strictest system of environmental protection” adopted.

He noted that reform of the country’s health and medicine systems had entered a difficult stage as he called for breakthroughs in hospital management, medical insurance and supervision and a diagnosis and treatment mechanism based on the severity of illnesses.

Xi highlighted the role of traditional Chinese medicine in promoting people’s health, underlining innovation as well as coordinated and complementary development of TCM and Western medicine.

He also called for efforts to be made to boost the salary and status of health workers.

Xi said local governments are encouraged to draft their own health development plans based on their own situations.

“We will actively participate in research and discussion concerning the making of international standards and criteria for health-related fields, and improve our country’s work mechanism to offer assistance in major international public health emergencies,” Xi said.

In particular, he promised to strengthen health cooperation with countries in areas involving the Belt and Road Initiative.

Premier Li Keqiang urged devoting more health resources to rural and impoverished regions, with greater insurance support to reduce costs for patients.

He called for efforts to support medical research, prevent excessive prescriptions and treatment, boost medical capacity at grassroots, encourage health investment from social groups and individuals, reduce medicine costs and relax rules on market entry and talent exchanges.

Li said the government will guide financial institutions to offer greater support to the health industry and strive to make it a pillar industry.


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