When the People's Republic of China was founded in 1949, China had a weak medical and health system due to low levels of development in its economy and society. The nation had only 3,670 medical and health institutions, 541,000 health workers and 85,000 beds at health institutions. The average life expectancy was 35 years. To change this situation, the government devoted great efforts to developing the medical and health services, and implemented guidelines which stipulated that the health services were to serve vast majority of the people, that prevention should be stressed, that both Western medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) should be utilized, and that health promotion and people's involvement should be incorporated. The people were mobilized to carry out health promotion programs, and basic knowledge about healthcare was widely spread. All this greatly enhanced the people's health, and major breakthroughs were made in medical sciences. Chlamydia trachomatis was identified for the first time by Chinese scientists; Chinese doctors performed the world's first replantation of a severed limb; and artemisinin, an effective cure for malaria, was extracted in a Chinese laboratory.
"We must give full play to the role of enterprises as the main players in lifelong professional skills training and lose no time in addressing the mismatch between employment pressure and scarcity of workers, especially highly skilled workers" Li said.
"Lifelong professional skills training is a pressing task in the process of achieving economic transformation and upgrading and high-quality development," Li said.
Shen Changyu, director of the State Intellectual Property Office, made the remarks at the sideline of the ongoing annual session of the national legislature.
According to the decision at the meeting, to achieve industrial upgrading, enterprises will be encouraged to play the principal role of sharpening workers' skills. Enterprises will be encouraged to conduct professional skill training on a large scale through measures including government-subsidized training, training sessions organized by enterprises themselves and commercial courses.
China's special features are "of great importance both scientifically and societally", said Inder Verma, an academician of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States.