Beginning this year, China will try to establish within three years a fully functioning system for disease prevention and control and for emergency medical aid that covers both urban and rural areas in order to increase our ability to deal with serious epidemic diseases and other public health emergencies.
Premier Wen Jiabao made the remarks in his report on the work of the government delivered at the opening of the Second Session of the Tenth National People's Congress Friday.
"We need to maintain a high degree of vigilance and take firm and effective measures to control SARS, AIDS, schistosomiasis and other serious communicable diseases," he said.
Priority will also be given to improving medical and sanitation conditions in rural areas and carrying out pilot projects on a new type of rural cooperative medical care system and vigorously promote the reform of the urban medical care and health service system.
At the same time, an extensive patriotic sanitation campaign should be carried out in both urban and rural areas, according to the premier.
(Xinhua News Agency March 5, 2004)