Xi calls for continuous reform to healthcare system


President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, learns about the reform of local medical and healthcare system at Shaxian General Hospital in Shaxian district of Sanming city, Fujian province, on March 23, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

President Xi Jinping has called for continuous reform to the medical and healthcare system to better protect people's well-being, saying, "Health is the most important indicator of people's happy life."

Xi made the remark when inspecting a hospital in Sanming, Fujian province, on Tuesday. Reform of the healthcare system, rural vitalization and forestry reform were highlighted during the second day of his inspection tour in Fujian, which started on Monday.

At Shaxian General Hospital, Xi learned about local efforts to reform the medical and healthcare system as well as how the reforms have benefited local people. He urged continuous efforts to improve healthcare services, building on existing achievements.

The hospital has jurisdiction over 12 grassroots branch hospitals and 128 village health clinic extensions. Its establishment was also one of the measures to reform the local medical and health system.

Xi has paid close attention to the progress of the country's medical reform. At a key meeting of the central leading group for deepening overall reform in March 2017, Xi praised Sanming's experience in medical reform, urging promotion of its practices nationwide.

During the inspection, Xi mentioned unbalanced development in the country's health sector. He also underlined the need to continue to intensify reforms of the country's medical and healthcare system and increase medical resources in the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) period.

"The philosophy of putting people's lives first and foremost must be upheld," he added.

While visiting a rural property rights transaction center in Sanming's Shaxian district, Xi stressed respect for people's pioneering spirit in reforms, saying the people are the real heroes.

He hailed the active efforts made in the district in collective forest tenure reform, and said Sanming is an important birthplace of such reforms.

In the past, Chinese farmers were excluded from collectively owned forestry and shared few timber revenues. As a result, they lacked the incentives to protect forests, and timber theft was rampant.

To solve those problems, Fujian launched a reform to decentralize the collective forest tenure system in favor of individual or household management in 2003. The move is considered the start of China's new round of forest tenure reform. It echoed Xi's instruction to develop forestry as an industry while protecting the environment when he worked in Fujian between 1985 and 2002.

Local authorities have explored a number of reform measures, including taking steps to encourage farmers to transfer their timberland to forest cooperatives and issuing more loans to forestry businesses to solve their financial problems.

The total output value of forestry reached 114.6 billion yuan ($17.6 billion) in 2019 in Sanming. The city's forest coverage is expected to exceed 80 percent in 2020, local authorities said.

Xi told officials that for major reforms, trials should be conducted first to gain experience before such reforms are promoted. The methodology of "crossing the river by feeling the stones" is relevant for institutional reforms and will continue to work, he added.

Xi also went to Yubang, a village famous for Shaxian delicacies such as pork wonton, peanut sauce noodles and over 100 other dishes, and called on local people to turn the restaurant business into a pillar industry to increase farmers' incomes and promote rural vitalization.

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