June 3 (EIRNS)— Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, State President, and Chairman of the Central Military Commission, presided over a panel of experts and scholars in the medical arena on the afternoon of June 2 and delivered an important speech on lessons learned from the pandemic. In attendance were some of the leading doctors and medical researchers from around the country, including Zhong Nanshan. A number of them gave their views on the situation of health in the country after COVID, and President Xi asked them questions.
He then gave a speech on the plans for moving forward. He said that in the face of the sudden outbreak of the new pneumonia, the Party Central Committee “made overall plans and determined decisions, insisting on putting peoples’ lives and health first. The whole party, the whole army and the people of all ethnic groups in the country worked together and took the most comprehensive and thorough prevention and control measures, and major strategic achievements have been achieved in the nationwide epidemic prevention and control battle.”
And while he praised the courageous efforts of the scholars and medical professionals in meeting the crisis, there still remained in the general population concerns about delays and “mixed messages” in the confusion that reigned in the first weeks of the epidemic, and in spite of the national mobilization to focus on Wuhan, there were still issues that remained to be resolved. And there was no doubt a good deal of discussion on these points at the NPC-CPPCC meeting this year. And one of the major commitments coming out of the meeting there was to significantly upgrade the overall medical system and to implement the “lessons learned.”.
In his speech, President Xi noted some of the reforms that had to be made. “It is necessary to strengthen the capacity building of national disease prevention and control institutions and strengthen their technology, capacity and talent reserves,” Xi said. “It is necessary to improve the mechanism of joint work between disease control institutions and urban and rural communities, strengthen the disease prevention responsibilities of township health centers and community health service centers, and consolidate the grassroots foundation of joint prevention and control.”
He called for an improvement in disease monitoring and the creation of an early warning mechanism for the possible occurrence of another epidemic disease. Xi said that “the focus should be on the supreme value of the people and the supreme value of life.” “We have mobilized national resources in an unprecedented manner in order to carry out large-scale treatment, without omitting an infected person, and not giving up any patient, from newborns to those over 100,” Xi said, stressing that they would not sacrifice the needs of the elderly for the sake of cost. Moving forward, he said, “it’s necessary to comprehensively strengthen the capacity of public hospitals for the treatment of infectious diseases, improve the standards for the construction of infectious disease prevention and treatment facilities in general hospitals, and enhance the capacity of emergency medical treatment reserves. Focus on urban communities and rural grassroots, border port cities, county-level hospitals and traditional Chinese medicine hospitals, and improve the urban-rural tertiary medical service network.”
He emphasized the need for developing more hospitals dedicated to infectious diseases and called for a focus on developing science and technology in the field of medicine. “We must increase investment in science and technology in the field of health, concentrate our efforts on core technological research, and take advantage of the new nationwide system. It is necessary to deepen the reform of the scientific research talent development system and mechanism, improve the discovery, training, and incentive mechanism of strategic scientists and innovative scientific and technological talents, attract more outstanding talents into the scientific research team, and create conditions for them to stand out,” Xi said. [wcj]