People"s health in China kept improving last year due to better healthcare services, resulting in longer life expectancy and reduced mortality for the pregnant and infants, according to a report released by the National Health Commission on Wednesday.
The average life expectancy in China rose to 77 years last year, 0.3 years longer than the previous year. The infant mortality rate dropped from 6.8 to 6.1 deaths per 1,000 live births, while the maternal mortality rate decreased from 19.6 to 18.3 per 100,000 births, said the report.
Total supply of health services increased last year, with the number of hospitals exceeding 33,000, an increase of 1,953 on the previous year.
Hospitals and clinics provided 8.3 billion diagnoses and treatments last year, an increase of 1.6 percent year-on-year. On average, people went to a hospital or clinic six times last year, the report said.
Total health expenditures last year reached 5.8 trillion yuan ($839 billion), accounting for 6.39 percent of GDP, compared with 6.36 in 2017, according to the report.
The report also said improvements have been made in medical reform as the number of medical workers in China increased, and more people sought treatment at grassroots clinics rather than swarming to big hospitals.
Basic medical insurance coverage has been expanding and the per capita basic medical insurance subsidy for urban and rural residents has been rising, it said.
China has been promoting the Healthy China initiative, which aims to improve the national health policy and ensure the delivery of comprehensive health services for Chinese people.
General health conditions for the entire population have kept improving over the past few years, with extended life expectancy and reduced mortality for groups such as children and pregnant women, according to the National Health Commission. Major health criteria including life expectancy and the mortality rate for woman in China are now higher than the average level of middle-high income countries, the commission said.
A report by the international journal Lancet last year said China is one of the countries with the greatest progress in healthcare services and accessibility over the past two decades. The report, which ranked 195 countries and regions on their quality of healthcare services and accessibility, ranked China 48th, compared with 110th in 1990.
Xinhua contributed to this story.