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As China gets wealthier, it’s "determined to get healthier"
By Michael Hennigan, Finfacts founder and editor
Jul 9, 2014 - 12:23 AM
|Xi Jinping (r), Chinese president, met with Jim Yong Kim, World Bank president, in Beijing on Tuesday July 08, 2014.|
The World Bank said on Tuesday that as China gets wealthier, it’s also
determined to get healthier. The health sector is growing faster than the
"How this growth is managed will have a tremendous impact on China's
economy," Jim Yong Kim, World Bank Group president,
told a press conference in Beijing, Tuesday.
The Bank said it will do a study in collaboration with the ministry of
finance and the National Health and Family Planning Commission together with the
World Health Organization that will help China accelerate its efforts to provide
affordable, quality care especially for its ageing population and rising middle
class facing chronic diseases.
Kim said that with urbanization, longer life
expectancy, a more sedentary lifestyle, air pollution and more processed food,
people are more prone to various diseases, especially diabetes, hypertension and
other chronic diseases.
These chronic conditions now account for a staggering 80% of the overall disease
burden in the country. More than 200m patients suffer from hypertension and more
than 90m from diabetes.
The World Bank president said:
Many of the challenges facing China today are similar to those faced by high
income countries for decades – non-communicable diseases, aging, rising citizen
demand and expectations, and unsatisfactory quality. China has an opportunity to
leap frog decades of bad practice by developing new models of health care
delivery and implementing them at scale.
In particular, China can move to a people-centered approach providing more
health care for the money while tapping emerging information, communication, and
My discussions this morning with the vice ministers from both ministries,
Margaret Chan, WHO director-general and others, mark the start of our search for
bold, sustainable options for health sector reforms, including in the private
Our study will draw on the best global knowledge and Chinese experience, to
offer practical solutions to help China strengthen its performance in health
service delivery, at the lowest possible cost, while improving the health of all
If China is as successful in this process as we think they can be, we believe
its health care reform can become a model for many other countries.
This will not only benefit China’s 1.3bn people. The entire world will benefit."
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