Medical and Health Care Legislation Set to Take Spotlight

Officials address a question from Beijing Review reporter on the draft of the Basic Health Care, Medicine and Health Promotion Law.
by Beijing Review
Beijing Review reporter Zeng Wenhui (WEI YAO)

The first meeting of the 13th National Peoples Congress (NPC) of China held a press conference on March 12, where Xu Anbiao, Vice Chairman of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the NPC Standing Committee, and Wu Heng, Vice Chairman of the Education, Science, Culture and Public Health Committee, addressed a question from Beijing Review reporter Zeng Wenhui on the draft of the Basic Health Care, Medicine and Health Promotion Law.

Beijing Review: China has requested deliberation of the Basic Health Care, Medicine and Health Promotion Law, which is the first basic, comprehensive law in the health field. The draft proposes to focus on some hot spot issues such as the cultivation and employment of general practitioners. What legislative measures has the NPC taken to improve people’s livelihood?

Xu Anbiao: The law was drafted by the Education, Science, Culture and Public Health Committee and has been submitted to the NPC Standing Committee for deliberation. Members of the Standing Committee commented positively on the draft and gave suggestions in terms of the names, scope, duty and authority of related departments. Subsequently, we invited comments from the public and government departments at all levels. These comments were basically in line with the opinions of the members of the NPC Standing Committee. Next, we will further study and adjust the draft and work out a modification plan which will incorporate all the opinions to the utmost.

In the past five years, remarkable legislative progress has been made regarding the promotion of people’s livelihood. To meet the requirement of legislating in the interest of the people, the Standing Committee has been energetically pushing forward legislation in civil and social fields, formulating the Special Equipment Safety Law and the Law Against Domestic Violence and amending the Food Safety Law and Work Safety Law. All these laws have strengthened the protection of people’s life, health and property safety. The committee has devised the Chinese Medicine Law and modified the Population and Family Planning Law and the Red Cross Society Law, advancing the development of medicine and health care. It has also made amendments to the Non-Governmental Education Promotion Law, the Education Law and the Tertiary Education Law, giving impetus to reforming education. Modifications of the Law on the Protection of the Rights and Interest of Consumers has created and improved the consumer environment. In the days to come, we will forge ahead on this front.

Wu Heng: The NPC Standing Committee conducted an in-depth study while formulating the draft law, including learning from the experience of other countries in medical and health care reform, since it is a complicated issue confronted by all countries in the world.

At the same time, we are inviting opinions nationwide and trying to extract the effective measures from past medical and health care reforms. One of the important principles we are following in formulating this law is to absorb all viable and feasible measures into the law, such as the cultivation of general practitioners and the establishment of a hierarchical medical system. We need to concretize these good measures through legislation, which will lead society to go further in the right direction.

This article is reprinted from Beijing Review.