In 2009, China launched a new round of reform of the medical and healthcare system. With the release of the Opinions on Deepening Reform of the Medical and Healthcare System, the government delivered a message that the basic medical and healthcare system should be available to all citizens as a public product. The nonprofit nature of public medical and healthcare was made clear. In the document it was proposed that China would develop the "four systems" of public health, medical services, medical security and drug supply and the "eight supporting mechanisms" of medical and healthcare management, operation, investment, pricing, supervision, technology and personnel, information, and law-based development, in an effort to form a basic medical and healthcare system and promote the all-around, balanced, and sustainable development of the health sector. Soon after that, China issued the Plan for Reforming Key Areas of the Medical and Healthcare System (2009-2011) and Plan for Deepening Reform of the Medical and Healthcare System during the 12th Five-Year Plan Period (2011-2015). In these two documents, the government set the goals of the reform, which were accelerating the basic medical security system, improving community-level medical and healthcare services, and promoting equal access to basic public health services.
In 2003, under the firm leadership of the Party and the government, the Chinese people, united as one, won a decisive victory in their combat against the severe acute respiratory syndrome pandemic. Learning a lesson from this experience, the government took comprehensive measures to improve public health services, and the prevention and control of serious diseases. Marked progress was made in the prevention and control system for serious diseases, in the response mechanism for public health emergencies, in the development of community healthcare services in rural and urban areas, and in the new-type rural cooperative medical care and basic medical insurance for urban residents.
"Skilled workers should be duly remunerated and held in high esteem by the general public," he said.
The development in the field of health services has brought concrete benefits to the Chinese people. The average life expectancy of the Chinese rose to 76.5 years in 2016 from 67.9 years in 1981; maternal mortality dropped from 88.9 per 100,000 persons in 1990 to 19.9 per 100,000 persons in 2016; and infant mortality declined from 34.7 per 1,000 in 1981 to 7.5 per 1,000 in 2016. The main health indicators of the Chinese are generally better than the average level of middle-and high-income countries, and China has achieved the UN's Millennium Goals in this regard ahead of schedule. Furthermore, China has established a complete medical and health system that is guided by the Constitution, based on civil laws and regulations, laws and administrative regulations on health, and local regulations, and directed by the outlines, programs, and plans of the health sector. The system has proved effective in maintaining sound doctor-patient relations, addressing medical disputes with impartiality, and ensuring citizens' right to health.