Understanding the Chinese model of public health through “Healthy China 2030”

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By Dr. Austin Maho

“Healthy China 2030” was unveiled in October 2016 by President Xi Jinping

Healthy China is a bold initiative and vision that gives public health a precondition for China’s economic and social development.

Major components of Healthy China 2030 covers public health services, environment management, medical industry, food and drug safety.

The Healthy China 2030 is a national strategy that sets a goal of enabling every Chinese citizen to be involved in health, share health, and be responsible for health.

The initiative can also be seen as part of China’s effort to fulfill its commitment to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Political Bureau of the Chinese Community adopted the “Healthy China 2030” plan as part of a comprehensive strategy to improve the general health of the Chinese people.

These initiatives, including the National Fitness Program and the Winter Olympics taking place in Beijing next February have not only established the health of the Chinese population as a national priority but also provides opportunities for addressing some of the urgent public health issues that have resulted from the country’s recent economic successes and related developments like rapid industrialization, urbanization, and environmental problems.

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With the Healthy China 2030 and National Fitness Program, China is poised to address a major emerging health threat, of the industrialized world such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular health problems, cancer among others.

The Chinese government has introduced different kinds of measures under Healthy China 2030 plan to achieve health-related SDGs through sports and physical activities.

The program encourages sports and physical activity, to improve national fitness level and improve productivity and reduce cost of medical care.

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Chinese President Xi demonstrated commitment to the “Healthy China goals recently during a meeting with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach, where he said the popularity of national fitness programs and the extent of a country’s participation in international sports cooperation are also important indicators of a country’s modernization”.

The Communist party of China has always paid great premium to the health of the Chinese people and their health has consistently improved over the years since the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

Healthy China was first put forward in the report of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, since then it has gathered national momentum and buy in of Chinese citizens.

Healthy China 2030 is also significant because China has an increasing aging population. The health of the population becomes important so as to foster a national well-being and social stability, propel global healthy governance, and fulfill the commitment that China has made to the international community under the SDGs.

Good health is pivotal to the development of any nation. Good health promotes stability and productivity and an important indices in measuring standard of living.
The concept of a Healthy China is clearly in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or Global Goals which are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals designed to be a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for mankind.
They are included in a UN Resolution called the 2030 Agenda or what is colloquially known as Agenda 2030. A key component of the SDGs is Good Health and Well-being. A Healthy China therefore is not only in line with its national strategic goal but also in line with the United Nations goal of a better future for mankind.

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One platform the Chinese government is going to use to further create health consciousness among its citizens is the Beijing Winter Olympics slated for February 2022. The global sporting event is expected to drive the development of sports and encourage national fitness in China.

President Xi Jinping recently described the Games as an excellent opportunity to “boost exchanges and mutual understanding between the Chinese and other civilisations around the world.”

By the end of 2020, Beijing had completed all 12 competition venues, all of which will incorporate green technologies to reduce the overall energy consumption and environmental impact. China has also been constructing a green transportation system, including a new high-speed railway, metro lines and new-energy vehicle charging stations, to help better connect the three competition zones.

The competition will not only be a major boost to Healthy China 2030 by promoting physical fitness through sports but also promises to be a showcase of green and healthy renewable technologies to the rest of the world.

On a general note the Healthy China 2030 initiative is a general strategic document designed for promoting the people’s health in the coming 15 years.

The document hopes to combine health policy with all other major policies, to achieve its core objectives.

It focuses on disease prevention by encouraging the adoption of healthy lifestyles.

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