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Health
2004/03/08



          In 1972, China's legal status at the World Health Organization
          (WHO) was restored. By the end of 1995, 64 of China's health
          research institutions had been designated as WHO cooperative
          centers. By implementing comprehensive birth control measures with
          the contraception as the mainstay, China was conferred the
          population prize for family planning technical management and
          aristogenesis and good childcare.
             By the end of 1998, China had 314,000 health institutions, 2.914
          million hospital beds and 5.536 million doctors and nurses. On
          average there were 2.33 hospital beds and 1.6 doctors for every
          1,000 people. China's urban medical and disease prevention
          institutions have reached a certain scale. The difficulty in seeing
          a doctor and getting hospitalized has been eased considerably.
             China has 118 medical universities and colleges with more than
          60,000 graduates a year; and 538 secondary medical schools with over
          120,000 graduates annually. It has also trained a number of leaders
          in various subjects and cross-century professionals.
             The health standard of the Chinese people has been improved
          substantially. The national mortality rate has dropped from 30 per
          thousand in the early 1950s to 6.5 percent; the infant mortality
          rate, from 200 per thousand to 33.1 per thousand; and the mortality
          rate of pregnant women and women in labor, from 1,500 per ten
          thousand to 63.6 per ten thousand.
             Before the founding of the People's Republic of China, the life
          expectancy of the Chinese people averaged 35 only. By the end of
          1996, the figure surged to 70.80. Life expectancy of women averaged
          73.04, and that of men, 68.71. The average life expectancy of
          Chinese residents was eight years lower than that of the residents
          of developed countries, but 10 years higher than that of the
          residents of other developing countries.
             China's urban and rural primary health care network has persisted
          in prophylactic health work. China had basically eliminated snail
          fever by the end of the 1950s; filarial infection by 1994; and
          poliomyelitis by 1995. It plans to fundamentally wipe out leprosy in
          1997, and iodine deficiency in 2000.
             In 1989, China officially promulgated and implemented the "Law on
          Preventing and Controlling Infectious Diseases". By the end of 1997,
          it had formulated and promulgated a series of laws and regulations.
          Included are the "Regulations for Implementing the Law on Preventing
          and Controlling Infectious Diseases", the "Regulations Concerning
          Controlling Blood Products", the "Rules on Preventing and
          Controlling Venereal Diseases", the "Regulations on Preventing and
          Controlling Tuberculosis" and the "Rules on Disinfection
          Management." Various localities have formulated local regulations
          and rules in line with local conditions. In addition, the Ministry
          of Health and the State Bureau of Technological Supervision have
          jointly released 33 national health standards for infectious
          diseases and disinfection. China has set up a national information
          center for epidemic diseases, which connects 31 provinces,
          autonomous regions and municipalities via computer. It has set up
          1,457 disease monitoring stations. To prevent and control infectious
          diseases via blood, China has introduced the system under which
          blood donors shall have physical checks-up before donating their
          blood, be registered with one card per person, and go to a
          designated blood-collecting station on the strength of their cards.
             China is a country suffering from acute iodine efficiency. Iodine
          deficiency threatens almost all people except 30 million people in
          eight high iodine provinces including Jiangsu, Hebei and Shandong.
          The Chinese Government has attached great importance to the
          prevention and control of iodine deficiency. In 1993, the State
          Council opened a mobilization meeting to eliminate iodine deficiency
          in 2000, and set up a coordination leading group under it to
          eliminate iodine deficiency. The group consists of representatives
          from 24 ministries and commissions. China takes adding iodine to
          sale as the most economical and effective method. It has issued
          three related regulations including the "Regulation on Adding Iodine
          to Salt to Eliminate Iodine Deficiency." It began in 1995 to add
          iodine to salt supplied to all Chinese. In May of 1998, according to
          the second nationwide survey of the incidence of iodine deficiency
          conducted by the China Endemic Diseases Prevention and Control
          Research Center in 1997, China had made progress in this regard. The
          incidence of Children's thyroid enlargement reached 10.86 percent,
          nine percentage points lower than the first national survey result
          in 1995.
             To implement the principle of health education starting from
          children, the State Commission of Education issued a circular to
          educational departments across the country in 1993, requiring
          primary and middle schools, universities and other types of schools
          to sponsor health education courses. China began in 1994 to carry
          out the Health Education Campaign for 900 Million Farmers, which was
          launched by four ministries and commissions, and designed to spread
          health care knowledge in the countryside to help farmers to develop
          a healthy lifestyle. The "Program for People of the Whole Country to
          Keep Fit" was published and implemented across the country, with the
          State Council approval in June of 1995.
             China's sanitary supervision work has been incorporated into the
          track of the legal system gradually. In the early 1980s,China
          enacted one law and five regulations, namely, the "Law of Food
          Hygiene," the "Regulations on Public Health Management," the
          "Regulations on Preventing and Treating Juvenile Pneumology," the
          "Regulations Governing the Supervision of Cosmetics Hygiene," the
          'Regulations on Radiation Prevention from Radioisotope and Radiation
          Equipment," and the "Regulations Concerning Sanitary Work in
          Schools." Moreover, the National People's Congress has promulgated
          the "Law on Management of Pharmaceuticals," the "Law of Health
          Quarantine in frontier," and the "Law on Preventing and Controlling
          Infectious Diseases." The State Council has also issued five
          administrative regulations and rules in the public health area.
             On December 9, 1996, the Central Committee of the Communist Party
          of China and the State Council held the first national public health
          work meeting, the first of its kind since the founding of the
          People's Republic of China. Jiang Zemin and Li Peng made important
          speeches at the meeting. Jiang Zemin pointed out that, to develop
          the socialist health undertaking with  Chinese characteristics, it
          is imperative to doing a good job in the following five areas: 1.
          Focusing on improving rural health work; 2. Carrying out the policy
          of putting prevention first; 3. Laying equal emphasis on traditional
          Chinese medicine and Western medicine and developing the former; 4.
          Relying on scientific progress to improve professional technical
          standards;  5. Carrying out the patriotic health campaign and
          mobilizing the whole society to participate in the campaign. After
          the meeting, the "Decision of the Central Committee of the Communist
          Party of China and the State Council on the Reform and Development
          of Health Sector" spelled out tasks and set objectives for reforms
          and development. The objective of the health work set by the
          decision is to adhere to the Party's basic line and principles ad
          continue to deepen the reform of the health sector under the
          guidance of Marxism, Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, and Deng Xiaoping
          Theory of building socialism with Chinese characteristics. By the
          end of 2000, China will have initially instituted a health system
          including health service, medical security and law enforcement and
          supervision to enable every resident to enjoy primary health care
          and improve the standard of people's health. By 2010, China will
          form an improved health system to meet the needs of the socialist
          market economic system and people's health. By 2010, China will have
          introduced a health system suited to a socialist market economic
          structure and meeting people's health needs. In developed areas,
          major indexes for people's health should meet and approach the
          average standard of the moderately developed countries. In
          underdeveloped areas, such indexes should meet the advanced standard
          of developing countries. By the end of 2oth century, efforts will be
          made to make sure that total gross social health cost will account
          for about five percent of China's gross domestic product. The
          principle put forward by the decision on the health work in the new
          period is to focus on rural areas, carry out the policy of putting
          prevention first, pay equal attention to traditional Chinese
          medicine and Western medicine, rely on science and education, to
          mobilize the whole society to participate in serving people's health
          and the socialist modernization drive. The decision also sets forth
          the basic principle for the reform and development of the health
          sector, that is, sticking to the purpose of serving the people;
          correctly handling the relations between social effects and economic
          returns; putting social effects above anything else; centering on
          improving people's health standard and giving priority to developing
          and ensuring the basic health service; proceeding from national
          conditions, rationally distributing resources and placing emphasis
          on improving quality and efficiency; in setting up medical
          institutions taking those owned by the state and collectives as the
          mainstay and taking as the supplement those run by other social
          sectors and individuals; opening wider to the outside world and
          increasing exchanges and enhancing cooperation in the international
          health area; and persisting in  promoting socialist material
          progress and ethical progress.
             In April of 1998, China's medical and health institutions decided
          to use newly-designed, unified symbol to replace the former Red
          Cross symbol. The unified symbol has a white cross surrounded by
          four red heart-shaped designs each with a white sideline. The four
          hearts represent the compassion, patience, care and responsibility
          of medical workers for patients. When in medical institutions, the
          design indicates centering on patients. When in other types of
          health institutions, the design suggests centering on protecting and
          promoting people's health.
             Since 1990, great changes have taken place in the traditional
          Chinese medicine industry, with the workshop-type production mode
          replaced by mass production. As a result, it has gradually realized
          the integration of farming, industry and commerce and the joint
          operation in production, supply and marketing.
             According to the 1998 statistics report, China had 12,807 kinds
          of traditional Chinese herbal medicines including 11,146 types of
          medical herbs, 1,581 species of animals for medical use, 80 types of
          minerals for medical use. A survey on 32 types of commonly-used
          medicinal herbs shows that they have a total reserve estimated at
          8.5 million tons.
             During the five-year period from 1993 to 1998, the output value
          of the prepared traditional Chinese medicine industry increased by
          20 percent on average annually. The profits and taxes generated by
          the industry grew at an average annual rate of 24 percent. The
          export of traditional Chinese medicines totaled 598 million US
          dollars, with traditional Chinese medicinal herbs accounting for 463
          million US dollars and prepared traditional Chinese medicines, 135
          million US dollars. Meanwhile, China had more than 10,000 commercial
          agencies dealing in traditional Chinese medicines and 36,000 retail
          outlets.  


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