IV. Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Non-communicable Disorders
Accelerated industrialization, urbanization and ageing of the population have brought about a trend of a continuous and rapid increase in the incidence of chronic diseases and mortality caused by such diseases. At present, about 260 million Chinese have been diagnosed to have contracted chronic diseases that have caused 85% of total deaths in China and incurred 70% of total medical costs.
The Chinese government regards chronic disease prevention and treatment as an important task in improving the people's health and well-being. It has established step by step a nationwide prevention and treatment service for chronic diseases, adopted level-by-level management over certain major chronic diseases, implemented a comprehensive control strategy, enhanced the overall prevention and treatment capacity over chronic diseases, made efforts to reduce factors that cause chronic diseases and bring down the morbidity and mortality of chronic diseases as well as disability caused by them.
Integration has been promoted between prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. Since 2002, China's strategy for prevention and control of chronic diseases has gradually shifted to placing equal emphasis on prevention and treatment from laying stress on treatment alone. At the state level, a chronic disease prevention and control system, which takes as its technical support the China Center for Disease Control, the National Cancer Center of China and the National Center for Cardiovascular Diseases of China, has gradually taken shape. In the localities, networks of chronic disease prevention and control have gradually been formed, comprising the local disease control institutions, grass-roots medical and healthcare institutions, hospitals as well as professional prevention and treatment organizations. The principle of early diagnosis and early treatment was proposed, in a bid to realize the targets of reducing the rate of morbidity, mortality and disability in the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. Primary attention has been directed at the general public, the high-risk population and people with diseases. For major chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, malignant tumors, diabetes and chronic obstructive lung diseases, effective medical interventions should be taken to reduce biological risk factors, like high blood pressure, hyperglycemia, high cholesterol in blood and overweight/obesity, and behavioral risk factors, such as smoking, unhealthy diet, lack of physical exercises and excessive drinking.
Measures for chronic disease control and prevention have been worked out. China has issued the "National Program for Chronic Disease Control and Prevention (2012-2015)" and other relevant policy documents and guidelines. Starting in 2005, such major special programs as that for early diagnosis and early treatment of cancer have been put into implementation. In 2007, a nationwide movement of healthy lifestyle was launched in the general public, employing various measures and channels to encourage the people to cultivate a healthy lifestyle. In 2009, the government included hypertension, diabetes and elders' health management in the basic public health services amidst medical reform. In 2010, China set out to build state-level demonstration areas in chronic disease prevention and control capacity, aiming at enhancing the comprehensive prevention and control capability against chronic diseases. Comprehensive intervention has been vigorously carried out for early-childhood oral disorders to prevent dental caries among children.
Information management system of chronic diseases has been established. China enforces comprehensive surveillance of chronic diseases, monitors the risk factors of such diseases, the incidence, the causes of death, and nutrition and health conditions of people suffering from these diseases, and has established cancer registries, thereby establishing and gradually improving an information system that centers around chronic diseases and the prevalence of their risk factors, so as to provide scientific basic data for the state's chronic disease prevention and control efforts.
Health education and promotion movements have been carried out. China will continue to promote the "national health-promotion campaign for farmers," "healthy community campaign," "healthy manners promotion campaign," and other health-promotion campaigns. Efforts will be made to gradually build a health education system featuring cooperation among multiple departments and the whole-society participation. Knowledge of and skills related to health will become increasingly widespread among the Chinese people, and their awareness of good health and ability to keep healthy are being constantly enhanced. Publicity has been intensified for tobacco control to enhance the public's awareness of the hazards of smoking, and eventually creating the atmosphere that the whole society support tobacco control. Since China joined the WHO Framework Convention of Tobacco Control in January 2006, the various localities in China have made proactive efforts to legalize control of smoking in public places for a smoking-free environment.
Maintenance of people's mental health has been valued. China issued the Mental Health Law to regulate the mental health services and protect the rights and interests of people with mental disorders. The Chinese government strives to improve the prevention and treatment network of severe mental illnesses, enhance the ability of mental healthcare institutions to treat and cure acute or severe mental illnesses, and has established a working mechanism for severe mental illness prevention and treatment in which psychiatric hospitals and communities support and cooperate with each other. China has included professionals in mental health services as the urgently needed task during the 12th Five-Year Plan, and has intensified their training. It has standardized patient services and management, launched a basic data collection and analysis system for severe mental illnesses, and digitized data on patients. At present, there are 3.026 million people with serious mental disorders in China's urban and rural areas who are receiving standard management at their homes.