China | China wants to raise life expectancy to 79 by 2030
Smoking is in Beijing's sights. Photo: iStock by Getty Images
Smoking is in Beijing's sights. Photo: iStock by Getty Images

China wants to raise life expectancy to 79 by 2030

The State Council has unveiled a new health care blueprint that outlines investment in areas such as elderly care, medical instruments and food safety

October 26, 2016 4:40 PM (UTC+8)

China is aiming to increase its citizens’ average life expectancy to 79 years by 2030. The objective is outlined in a new health care blueprint released by the State Council on Tuesday evening.

Life expectancy in China stands at 76.34 as of 2015, according to government figures. The State Council plans to increase that to 77.3 by 2020 and 79 by 2030.

Under the so-called “Healthy China 2030” blueprint, Beijing wants to invest in sectors such as elderly care, medical instruments and data, and food safety. It plans to expand the health care industry to 16 trillion yuan by 2030, more than three and a half times the figure of 4.5 trillion yuan in 2015.

Investment is expected to improve areas such as the environment, local level health care services, public sanitation and food safety. At the local level, the government aims to have three certified doctors or assistant doctors for every 1,000 citizens. Meanwhile, it hopes that cities at prefecture level and above will enjoy “good air quality” 80 % of the year, with “more progress” by 2030.

Other aims outlined include reducing infant mortality, traffic deaths, smoking and alcohol abuse. The government will also work to improve cancer survival rates, rein in early deaths from chronic diseases and step up intervention with regard to psychological illnesses.

China aims to raise the number of active participants in sport to 530 million by 2030, up from 360 million in 2014, besides promoting a “leading role” for Chinese medicine in disease treatment.

 The country with the largest population in the world also wants to have a nationwide monitoring system by 2030 to check for food safety and food-borne diseases. Food safety has been a constant issue in China in recent years. Scandals have included a baby milk powder contamination furor as recently as June last year.

In addition, the blueprint mentions working to tackle a gender imbalance by setting up a “complete birth monitoring system”.

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