Facts & Figures: China's medical, health conditions

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China has made remarkable achievements in medical and health sectors since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, especially since the country adopted its reform and opening up policy in the late 1970s.

Following are facts and figures given by Health Minister Chen Zhu at a press conference Monday:

-- China's average life expectancy is 73 years, an increase from 35 years before the founding of New China.

-- The maternal mortality rate has dropped from 1,500 per 100,000 people to 34.2 per 100,000 in 2008.

-- The infant mortality rate has dropped from 20 percent in the early stage of New China to 1.49 percent in 2008.

-- Morbidity of Class A and B national statutory infectious diseases has dropped from 20,000 per 100,000 people in 1949 to 268.01 per 100,000 in 2008.

-- In the early days of New China, the country had 3,670 medical and health institutions, 84,600 hospital beds, 505,000 health professionals. By the end of 2008, China has 278,000 health institutions and 613,000 village clinics, 4.036 million hospital beds, and 6.169 million health personnel.

-- About 833 million of the rural population were covered by a new rural cooperative medical care scheme initiated in 2003.

-- A legal system of health laws has been initially built.

Since the launch of the reform and opening up drive, the National People's Congress and its Standing Committee have passed and implemented 11 health-related laws, including the "Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Law" and "Food Safety Law"; the State Council enacted 37 administrative regulations; the Ministry of Health has issued more than 200 departmental rules. And now 1,300 existing health standards are effective.

-- China unveiled its three-year plan for health care reform, involving an investment of at least 850 billion yuan (124 billion U.S. dollars), in April 2009. It aims to lay a solid foundation for equitable and universal access to essential health care for everyone in the country by 2020.

(Xinhua News Agency September 28, 2009)

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