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The Lancet Examines China’s Health Reform Challenges

The Lancet: Child health in China: great progress but challenges ahead
Editorial Board

“…Progress has been unprecedentedly astonishing for child survival in China, but so have been the existing and emerging challenges for child health. Huge disparities in child health remain pervasive in China. … Furthermore, China is short of at least 200,000 pediatricians because of the relatively low pay and low status of pediatricians but high pressure from pushy parents. … Additionally, children are uniquely vulnerable to environmental hazards, and children in China are exposed to a wide array of environmental threats … Having achieved spectacular results with child survival, China now needs to focus on child and adolescent health. Health inequality, the crisis of pediatricians, and the serious polluted environment in China urgently need to be addressed to secure the future of the next generation as health care reforms progress” (1/16).

The Lancet: Offline: Health — the Chinese dream
Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet

“…[C]lose observers are anxious that China’s health reforms have stalled. This week, the Government of China convened a forum of international advisers to discuss urgent challenges facing the country. Health was a prominent concern. … What to do? … First, continue to deepen health reform to build a resilient, equitable, and learning health system. … Second, prioritize primary care. … Third, take the quality of care delivered by the health system far more seriously. … Fourth, upgrade public health systems by establishing independently chaired national strategy boards to review and report on actions across major areas of public health — notably, tobacco control, overweight and obesity, environmental health, mental health, and road injuries. Fifth, re-engineer the health workforce, the biggest obstacle to health reform. Finally, seize the opportunity of global health: define and finance a global health strategy for China and identify health as a key foreign policy objective for the government as part of its ‘go-global’ initiative…” (1/16).

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