China’s Health Minister has announced an ambitious program to provide basic healthcare for every citizen in the world’s most populous nation. Chen Zhu said the Healthy China 2020 program would provide a universal national health service and promote equal access to public services. Chen was speaking at the national Health Forum in Beijing.
With the ambitious title of Healthy China 2020, the program has multiple goals, including improving life expectancy, which this year has reached 73 years. It will be a massive challenge for the government, but the Health Ministry has been tasked to fill what the Health Minister called ‘a significant gap between the Party requirements and people’s new expectations’.
There is an extra reason for China to work on the health system. As Beijing gears up for the summer Olympic Games, China wants to strengthen disease-monitoring and evaluate any public health hazards.
In a related news it is reported that “Rising medical costs have become the top concerns of Chinese people, according to a new survey by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS.)
The survey of 101,029 families nationwide revealed 15.3 percent of those polled chose ‘medical and health services’ as one of their concerns. Growing public criticism of soaring medical fees, lack of access, poor doctor-patient relations and the low coverage of the medicare system had compelled China to launch a new round of medical reform.”