Wealth and Health

China's economic transformation is damaging the health of many of its people, including millions of urban professionals who are suffering from stress. A spokesman for the World Health Organization in Beijing is talking to a healthcare expert about this.

WHO: A study by the Red Cross Society of China found that more than 70 % of the residents of the three wealthiest conurbations, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou , were ill, unfit or short of energy. The research also suggested that the most highly educated sectors of the society were the worst hit. Do you know of any other research which supports this result?

C: 中科院最近曾经在中关村对那里从事电脑工作的人员做过一次调查,结果是他们的平均寿命是53岁零4个月。上海也对新闻工作人员作了一项调查,他们的平均寿命只有45岁。这些结果都是很令人震惊的。

WHO: I am sure that there are many reasons for the poor state of city dwellers' health, but can we say that one of the causes is the country's growing wealth?

C: 这两个问题之间不能说没有联系,比如现在常见的糖尿病心血管病就是跟不良的饮食、生活和工作习惯有关系,还有一些疾病是跟压力、缺乏锻炼等因素有关系。这些都是现代生活带来的问题。

WHO: Since the outbreak of the SARS epidemic last year, the government's record on health care has become the focus for discussion. To what extent is the government concerned about the health condition of its people in general?

C: 卫生部十分关注医院资金不足的问题,最近又特别提出了要加强在艾滋病和肺结核病方面的医疗措施。

WHO: China's health sector was once one of the country's proudest achievements. But the government has allowed it to deteriorate since the reform. There was total abolition of rural cooperative medical services in the early 80s in the countryside. Do you think that there is any possibility for its restoration?

C: 当时取消公费医疗主要是考虑到要限制这方面的浪费,同时调动地方政府的积极性。农村目前的情况是有五分之一的农民加入了医疗保险,希望情况会继续改善

WHO: China's spending on healthcare is now among the lowest in the world. But at the same time, it is spending billions to host the 2008 Olympic games. How can this social inequality be interpreted?

C: 举办奥林匹克运动会的目的之一也是提高全民的运动和健康意识,至于财政方面的问题,不知道你听说了没有,上个月北京市政府已经决定节省开支,将体育场和体育馆的建设项目减少一半。