China travel guide


China Travel Guide

Health in China

The public health system is administered by the Chinese Ministry of Health, but today the upgrading of the system is treated internationally.

Significant changes in the public health started when the Communist achieved the power in 1949. The healthcare programs have aimed to supply care to all Chinese despite of their social status, and have tried to make the highest employ of limited health-care staff, equipment, and economic resources. Chinese government developed the rural health services, gave a boost to traditional medicine as well as preventive care.

However, during the first decades the system didnít work as was expected. Wrong political policies, incompetence in the delivery of health services and corruption led to the death and famine of millions of people and the rebounded of epidemic diseases. In the 1980s China replanted the health programs and has had a relative success.

Nowadays, most of the cities have western style medical services with international and local personnel. Hospitals of the principal cities are equipped with modern medical technology and skilled physicians. These hospitals provide medical facilities to foreigners and the majority of them count with English-speaking doctors and nurses.

The quality of public health has improved significantly, and the administration and regulation of medical work have increased. Medical insurance systems have been established in urban and rural areas combining governmental planning and fee paying. The occurrence of epidemic diseases has dropped noticeably, and some endemic diseases are today under control. The rural health work has contributed to the overall health of the population. The average life expectancy of inhabitants, the death rate of infants and childbirth death rates have roughly reached the levels of Western countries.

The average Chinese BMI is much lower; the normal mean is 18.5 to 23.9. Body mass index calculator automatically calculate your weight category using our BMI calculator. Because the Chinese have a lower baseline BMI to begin with, it takes fewer increments to reach an obese level, so that BMI of 24 to 27.9 is considered overweight and =28 is considered obese. At a BMI of 23.0 to 24.9, the risk of hypertension, hypertriglyceridemia, and coronary artery disease doubles, and the risk increases 3-fold at a BMI of 25.0 to 26.9.3. So the BMI of 20 is the most common average in the Asian country.

Some Chinese health statistics:

Topic Description
Public health institutions: 310,000 including clinics [2004].
Number of beds: 3.08 million beds (2.4 per 1,000 persons)[2005].
Medical personnel: 4.46 million staff including 1.94 million physicians (1.5 per 1,000 persons) and 1.25 million nurses [2005].
Fertility rate: 1.8 children per woman [2005].
Infant mortality rate: 25.3 per 1,000 live births [2004].
Daily caloric: 2,940 per capita (the second higher in Asia only after South Korea) [2003].
Access to water supply: 92 % of the urban population and 68 % of the rural population [2002].
Access to sanitation facilities: 69 % of the urban population and 29 % of the rural population [2002].
Health expenditures: US$224 per capita or 5.5 % of GDP [2001].
Life expectancy at birth: Male: 71 years; female: 75 years [2007].

Read more about Health in China

Chinese diseases
Diarrhea is the most common intestinal illness affecting travelers, generally in a mild form while your stomach gets used to the unfamiliar food...

Getting medical help
There are pharmacies practically in every town of China, which can be helpful for minor injuries or ailments. Larger ones frequently offer diagnosis and advice...

Medical suggestions
Before go to China complete any courses of vaccinations you need. Medical vaccinations are desirable or helpful to prevent contagious diseases in China...

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