Promote a Healthy China*
August 19, 2016
If we cannot ensure the people's health, we cannot achieve moderate prosperity in all respects. We should prioritize public health, popularizing a healthy lifestyle, improving health services and security, building a healthy environment, and developing health industries. We should quicken our pace in implementing the healthy China program, striving to ensure all-round people's health at all times. These are the requirements of good health in realizing the Two Centenary Goals and the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.
Health is a must for promoting well-rounded personal development, a prerequisite for social and economic development, a symbol of national prosperity and strength, and a common pursuit of the people. Since the founding of the CPC in 1921, we have seen protecting public health as a part of the cause of pursuing national independence and people's liberation. Since reform and opening up in 1978, China's health industry has grown rapidly; the medical service system has been improved; equal access to basic public health services has been enhanced; and our capacity to control disease has been greatly strengthened. After many years of efforts, we have improved people's conditions and blazed a development path suited to China's reality.
Faithful to the principles of "giving priority to saving lives, healing the sick, and helping the dying with total devotion and ultimate love", our healthcare workers serve the people wholeheartedly. Especially when fighting severe epidemics and natural disasters, they face danger fearlessly, proceed without hesitation, and even sacrifice their own lives to save others. They have won the admiration of all of society.
Due to industrialization, urbanization, and an ageing population, and with the changing spectrum of diseases, environment, and lifestyle, China is facing a complex situation in which threats from multiple diseases coexist and various factors affecting people's health intertwine. We have to deal with health problems facing both developed and developing countries. Unresolved problems will threaten public health, restrict economic growth, and undermine social harmony and stability.
In promoting a healthy China, we should follow the Chinese health development path and tackle major problems. We should adhere to sound public health principles, prioritizing community-level health work and driven by reform and innovation; focus on disease prevention; and develop both traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine. We should incorporate healthcare into all our policies, and ensure the people contribute to the cause and share the benefits. We should maintain basic not-for-profit healthcare, continue to improve the healthcare system, expand healthcare services, and improve healthcare quality, so that the public can have equal access to systematic and consistent healthcare services from disease prevention through treatment, rehabilitation, and health promotion. We should improve the quality and capacity of healthcare services which are accessible to all. We should balance the roles of government and market; the government should be operational in providing basic healthcare services, while the market should be dynamic in other healthcare areas.
We should enhance disease prevention, raising the public's awareness to prevent and control epidemics, and striving to provide the public with life-cycle healthcare services. We should attach importance to the prevention and control of major diseases, improving related strategies to minimize the number of patients. We should direct attention to the health of children, improving healthcare in kindergartens, primary schools and middle schools; increasing healthcare publicity to enhance students' awareness of disease prevention; and providing nutritious meals to young students in poverty-stricken areas to ensure their healthy growth. We should pay attention to the health of special groups, protecting women's and children's health; providing consistent health management services and medical services to senior citizens; striving to achieve the goal of providing rehabilitation services to every disabled person; caring about the health of migrant population; and implementing poverty relief projects through better healthcare. We should advocate a healthy lifestyle, promote the idea of all-round wellness, shift the focus from treating ailments to healthcare, improve the healthcare education system, enhance the health awareness of the public, and integrate fitness and healthcare across the country. We should increase efforts in the basic research of mental health, promote popular understanding of mental health and mental illness, and regulate psychotherapy, psychological counseling and other mental health services.
A good eco-environment is essential to the survival and health of mankind. To practice the philosophy of green development, we should implement strict eco-protection mechanisms; improve monitoring, investigation, and risk evaluation mechanisms for environment and public health; focus on addressing air, soil and water pollution; accelerate afforestation across the country; and resolve serious environmental problems affecting public health. We should carry forward the tradition of patriotic cleaning campaigns, continue with the urban and rural clean environment campaign, increase efforts in improving rural living conditions, and build a healthy and livable environment. We should enforce food safety laws, improve the food safety system, and strengthen food safety supervision from farmland to dining table. We should enhance the idea of safe development, improve the public safety system, and reduce the threat to public health and people's lives posed by public safety incidents.
China's healthcare reform has now entered a critical phase where tough problems must be tackled. We should implement the healthcare reform tasks specified at the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee in 2013. We should continue to build the basic healthcare system, making breakthroughs in five basic mechanisms– tiered medical treatment, modern hospital management, medical insurance for all citizens, pharmaceutical supply, and comprehensive supervision. We should revitalize and further develop traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), giving it equal emphasis with Western medicine; promote complementary and coordinated development between Western medicine and TCM; and encourage the innovative transformation and development of TCM culture. We should motivate medical personnel by improving their payment, career structure, working conditions, and social status, take care of their physical and mental health, increase their sense of pride in their profession by various means, and foster a social atmosphere of respecting medical staff and valuing healthcare. Our healthcare workers should practice core socialist values, strengthen professional ethics and self-discipline, and provide the best public healthcare services. We should act firmly against crimes related to medical and health issues, especially violence towards medical staff, and protect their safety.
Building a healthy China is the CPC's solemn promise to the people. Party committees and governments at all levels should start this campaign to win popular support, take on responsibilities, and earnestly implement our goals. We should include healthcare reform into the comprehensive drive for deeper reform; standardize related planning, objectives and evaluation; and encourage local governments to conduct differentiated trials according to local realities. We should establish a comprehensive health index evaluation system to systemically evaluate the influence of all socio-economic development plans and policies and major construction projects on public health. We should complete the public health information service system, and apply big data analysis in healthcare management.
Over the years, China has achieved huge progress in fulfilling our international obligations and participating in global health governance, presenting the world with a major country meeting its responsibilities and upholding international humanism. We have thereby won praise from the international community. We should take an active part in research and negotiations on health-related international standards and criteria, improve our international aid mechanism to respond to worldwide major public health emergencies, and enhance healthcare cooperation with the countries along the Belt and Road routes.
* Main points of the speech at the National Health Conference.
(Not to be republished for any commercial or other purposes.)