Chinese President Xi Jinping called for efforts to develop a strong public health system to safeguard people’s health on June 2.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, made the remarks when presiding over a symposium attended by experts and scholars.
From the strategic height of overall national development, Xi summarized experiences gained and lessons learned in the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic, and expounded on the strategic role of health care.
Xi offered systematic discourse on a range of major issues, including reforming the system for disease prevention and control, improving early-stage monitoring and warning for epidemics, comprehensively enhancing the capacity for prevention, control and treatment, building a strong and solid protection network against infectious diseases, and advancing targeted legislative work in the public health sector.
Xi’s profound and insightful speech with rich connotations has a significant and far-reaching influence on the whole Party and the society’s efforts to enhance the awareness of worst-case scenarios and potential dangers, to promote high-quality development of health care in the new era, to forestall major risks in the health sector, and to protect people’s lives and health.
Protecting people’s lives and health is an important task underlying the Party’s governance. The Party and country have always attached great importance to the development of the health cause and the improvement of people’s wellbeing.
Since the 18th CPC National Congress, the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has put forward explicit guidelines for the Party’s health work in the new era, solidified the institutional guarantee for improving people’s health, followed the policy of putting prevention first, and developed steadily the public health service system. Thanks to these efforts, China prevented and successfully responded to sudden outbreaks such as the H1N1 flu, H7N9 flu and Ebola hemorrhagic fever, and significantly reduced the incidence rate of major infectious diseases.
As President Xi pointed out, good health is a prerequisite for promoting well-rounded development of the people, a precondition for economic and social development, a key mark of a prosperous nation and a strong country, and the common pursuit of the people. The development of health care always assumes a fundamental position, and has been integrated with the country’s overall strategy, playing an important role in the historical course of achieving the two centenary goals.
When joining deliberation with deputies from north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region at the third session of the 13th National People’s Congress, the country’s top legislature, Xi reviewed the great fight against COVID-19 and made a profound point that people’s lives and health should be considered as the top priority. “We are willing to protect people’s lives and health at all costs,” Xi said.
The COVID-19 epidemic is a major public health emergency that has spread the fastest, caused the most extensive infections and been the hardest to contain since the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949. Facing the epidemic, the CPC Central Committee has taken the overall situation into account, made resolute decisions, and always put people’s lives and health first.
Thanks to the concerted and all-out efforts made by the Party, the armed forces, and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups, China has made major strategic achievements in the battle against the epidemic with the most comprehensive, rigorous and thorough measures.
These achievements demonstrate the great political advantages of the CPC’s leadership and socialism with Chinese characteristics, the country’s ever-increasing comprehensive national strength since the reform and opening-up, as well as the great power generated by the joint efforts made by the Party, the armed forces, and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups.
Prosperity for all is impossible without health for all. With the continuous development of the Chinese society and economy, as well as the constantly improving living standards, the Chinese people have put more emphasis on their life quality and health, expecting diversified and individualized health services.
Furthermore, people’s health concerns not only livelihood, but also social politics. The prevention of major epidemics and resolving public health risks are of great significance for national security and social stability.
China’s public health and medical service systems have played a key role in dealing with the epidemic, but some weak links and inadequacies were also exposed. The country should address existing problems squarely, strengthen areas of weakness and fix loopholes.
Party committees and governments should reform the disease prevention and control system, improve early-warning and emergency response mechanisms, build greater capacity for prevention, control and treatment, and improve public health emergency laws and regulations. Besides, they should practically enhance the work of patriotic public health and clarify responsibilities at institutional level, so as to provide a strong guarantee for safeguarding people’s health.
The health of the people is the most valuable treasure of a country, from which it enhances its overall national strength and builds the capability of sustainable development.
China will always remain committed to the people-centered philosophy of development, give top priority to people’s health, endeavor to develop a strong public health system that offers all-dimensional and whole-of-the-life-cycle health services for the people.
By doing so, it will surely create a mighty force that unites the Chinese people to conquer all difficulties, risks and challenges, and create a better life.