Shanghai setting records as life expectancy tops 82

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The life span of Shanghai residents has surpassed 82 years, the longest in the country, the municipality's health authorities have revealed.

By the end of 2010, the average life span of the city's residents was 82.13 years, eclipsing the figure of 81.73 set in 2009, according to the annual report released by the municipal health bureau on Thursday.

The average life span of the city's registered male residents was 79.82 years, up from the previous year's 79.42, while the female life span was 84.44 years, up from 84.06.

The average life span of a Shanghai resident in 1951 was 44 years.

The maternal mortality rate last year was 9.61 in every 100,000, while the infant death rate was 5.97 in every 1,000.

Life span, and maternal and infant mortality rates are the three data that reflect the health of residents and the quality of medical care of a nation or a region.

The comprehensive statistics in the report showed that the city's standard of medical care and the health of its residents have continued to improve over the past year.

"Currently, all the three data in Shanghai are at the same level with those in developed countries," said Xu Jianguang, director of Shanghai Municipal Health Bureau.

Xu said that this great achievement in healthcare was due to the city's increasingly improved health services.

The health authorities also successfully completed the health and medical work for last year's World Expo.

During the six-month international event there were no serious health accidents, such as an outbreak of infectious disease, no problems with the safety of drinking water and no incidents of food poisoning.

Statistics showed that medical service stations in the Expo garden received 97,501 patients, of whom 3,530 were transferred to the city's designated hospitals.

In addition, Shanghai continued to improve its efforts in the new round of healthcare reform. More top-quality hospitals are being established on the city's outskirts to increase high-quality medical resources. These new hospitals are expected to be completed in 2013, the bureau said.

Last year, Shanghai launched a standardized training program for resident doctors.

After graduating from medical school students must do one to three years of residency training before they can formally enter a local hospital to become a clinical medical doctor. In 2010 the city enrolled 1841 resident doctors.

The city was also exploring ways of expanding and improving its family doctor system. At present, Shanghai has more than 10,000 family doctors for a population close to 23 million.

Under the plan every family will receive care from a family doctor who will be able to offer more than just home visits. The doctors will also be able to organize and provide patient information for remote online consultations with experts.

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