China intends to improve country’s health care system
The 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China’s top advisory body, will convene its third annual session tomorrow, on May 21. The next day the third annual session of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislature, will commence. The sessions will discuss the hottest issue in today’s agenda, which is the public health. During the quarantine regime that was introduced due to the novel coronavirus outbreak the China’s national legislators and political advisers made more than 400 proposals on tackling public health issues. One of the initiators proposed to create a nationwide network, which will become the basis of the anti-epidemic measures for control of the infectious disease outbreaks.
“A major part of my proposal is how our country can establish public health forts in big cities to secure people’s safety when an outbreak occurs. And we should also run well of these pre-built facilities by nurturing talented trained staff and galvanizing them to focus on scientific research. More national resources and investments are also needed in this field,” said Zhu Tongyu, the President of Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center.
Experts say that using core technological breakthroughs, including big data, artificial intelligence and cloud computing played crucial role for China in acceleration of the disease monitoring and virus tracing. This, in turn, contributed to the introduction of the quarantine regime and resource allocation. The Law on Promoting Basic Medical and Health Care laid the foundation for the further improvement of China’s healthcare system. The law was approved at the session of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee on December 28, 2019. The law will take effect from June 1, 2020.
“It specified for the first time that citizens have the right to health. Every citizen has the right to obtain basic medical care service and insurance. It’s a broader legal concept, different from what’s in the civil laws that others shall not infringe upon your body. Here it’s a positive right to health. The nation, society and medical institutes should take the initiative to provide health care service to citizens,” said Wang Chenguang, the law professor of the Tsinghua University.
It is planned that the law will make medical services in China more affordable. After the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, experts call for improving the health insurance system by expanding the list of the illnesses that can be covered by the basic insurance.
“It has shown clearly through this pandemic control, that people’s lives and health should be prioritized. So the government ordered to save all infected people with full efforts, without considering costs,” Wang Chenguang said.
China already has a public health legal system involving 30 laws. The lawmakers say the COVID-19 pandemic indicated the need for systematic law revisions and improvements. The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China announced that it will formulate or revise 17 health-related laws both in this year and next.