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China plans to lift life expectancy through better health care

Xinhua, January 13, 2017 Adjust font size:

China's State Council, or Cabinet, has released a plan on medical and health care, highlighting the need to identify diseases earlier.

The plan will complement efforts to increase the country's average life expectancy by one year to more than 77 years by 2020.

The five-year plan, for the 2016-2020 period, called for measures to assist the earlier detection of serious diseases including strokes and cancers, as well as better treatment for issues such as hypertension and diabetes among people with high blood pressure, blood glucose, blood fat or obesity.

To address the current shortage of nurses, the government will launch training programs so that the country will have 3.14 nurses per thousand people by 2020. This translates into 4.45 million nurses nationwide.

An additional 89,000 hospital beds, and 140,000 obstetricians and midwives will be added to cope with rising demand and medical resource shortage since China allowed all couples to have two children at the beginning of 2016.

As 16.1 percent of China's population were 60 or over in 2015, the plan also discussed how to help the elderly with various methods, including traditional medicine, exercise and diet.

The government also aims to ensure more than 70 percent of those aged 65 and over have access to health management services by 2020, which can evaluate health conditions, control health risks and provide health guidance.