Beijing will take every possible step to prevent an epidemic or
health scare during the 2008 Olympic Games and to ensure injured and
sick athletes receive immediate and immaculate medical treatment,
city health authorities said yesterday.
"Health security preparations for the 2008 Olympics are on in
full swing," Beijing Municipal Health Bureau's deputy chief Deng
Xiaohong told a press conference.
The bureau will have strict control measures in place to ensure
the safety of all food products and that drinking water be free of
contamination at the Olympic village, competition venues, public
media and conference centers and hotels.
The city will have medical teams on constant call ready to deal
with any emergencies. "Beijing is certain of rendering top quality
health service for the Games," the official said.
The city has gained invaluable experience from major events
hosted over the last few years, such as November's Sino-African
Summit, when Beijing welcome over 40 heads of state. Further
preparation will be undergone during the 23 trial events for the
Games that begin in July.
Beijing already has two city management programs and a training
plan to prepare for health security that focuses on medical
emergencies. The training program, led by the bureau includes,
include technical and language trainings both.
More than 20 hospitals have already been selected as official
medical centers for the 2008 Olympics, with all the doctors
And last but not least, the bureau will coordinate with banks to
ensure foreign patients can use international bankcards to pay for
their medical bills.
As part of its preparation, the bureau conducted food security
inspections in over 30,000 hotels and restaurants this month.
"We have defined four safety grades, with hotels at the bottom
two grades being told to improve their standards," another deputy
chief of the bureau Liang Wannian said.
The city's recently formed food safety committee holds
representatives of 16 government departments and has created an
expert panel for the Olympics.
A bilingual food safety monitoring system will track food
processing and transportation. In case of the event of a food
scare, the city will immediately form teams for medical treatment,
testing and assessment, news briefings and investigations.
Health workers will undergo training to deal with public health
incidents, Liang said. Public campaigns will be launched in the
run-up to the Olympics to make people more aware of the importance
of food and water safety.
(China Daily January 30, 2007)