The General Office of the State Council issued a plan to improve policies on national health, and push forward the Healthy China initiative to meet people's growing need for well-being during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025), according to a circular released on May 2022.
The circular urged accelerating setting up institutions and systems that put people's health first, stressed taking health into consideration in all policies, and underlined the importance of developing healthy life and work styles, while highlighting disease prevention with focus on major diseases, risk factors and vulnerable groups.
Basic medical and health services will become more equitable and accessible, narrowing the gaps in resource allocation, service capability and health conditions between urban and rural areas and among different regions and groups. The unique advantage of traditional Chinese medicine should be used in coordination with Western medicine.
By 2025, China's public health system will be further upgraded. The basic medical and health care system with Chinese characteristics will gradually improve with significantly intensified emergency response to major epidemic outbreaks and public health emergencies, the circular said.
Health science and technology innovation will be significantly enhanced, life expectancy will continue to increase by one year based on 2020 figures, and the average healthy life expectancy will also be increased.
By 2035, China's health care system will adapt to the basically achieved socialist modernization. Chinese people's average life expectancy will be over 80 with a gradually rising average healthy life expectancy.
The public network of health protection should be tightened with more measures, including strengthening disease prevention and control capacity, optimizing monitoring and early-warning systems, improving emergency response and handling mechanisms, and elevating treatment in major epidemics.
The circular also required more efforts in handling health problems and influencing factors, which calls for popularizing healthy lifestyles, pushing for prevention and control of infectious, parasitic and endemic diseases, intensifying comprehensive chronic disease management and injury prevention, improving mental health services, and securing a health-friendly environment and food and drug safety.
To safeguard different groups' health, the circular stressed improving maternity services, and safeguarding the health of women, children and the elderly, while strengthening occupational health management. Also, health management for certain vulnerable groups, such as people with disabilities, will be intensified.
The circular also called for improving medical and health services by implementing pre-registration and day care services and innovating emergency services to enhance the quality and efficiency of medical treatment for major acute diseases. Traditional Chinese medicine should also be further developed through technological innovation, according to the circular.