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[CGTN]CPPCC member calls for unified monitoring mechanism for environment and health

2018-03-15

  Among the proposals put forward in this year’s meeting of China’s political advisory body is one seeking a unified approach to protecting people’s health.

  The proposal calls for improving the country’s environment monitoring system through close cooperation between the environment and health sectors.

  Professor Shi Xiaoming, also the director of the National Institute of Environmental Health, said that health hazards from the environment remain a problem in China.

  He believes that a national mechanism is important to bring together all relevant departments and give them very specific tasks, in monitoring the environment and people’s health, as well as evaluating any related risks.

  According to Shi, people from the health and environment sectors have joined the effort, and yet they have different understandings of their duties, resulting in inefficiency.

  In the institute in Beijing where Shi works, a working model for cooperation between the sectors is taking shape.

  There are many research projects currently underway at the institute. The majority focus on environmental hazards, and how those hazards impact human health.

  Every day researchers here collect air, water, and soil samples, as well as information on healthcare and disease across the nation.

  These are tasks that usually belong to separate departments.

  Shi Xiaoming brings his proposal to CPPCC annual session for discussion and approval.

  "Through this, we analyze deaths caused by various diseases in China, and find out where diseases and pollutants are most concentrated,” Shi said.

  Shi said the institute sets an example of how closer ties between China’s environment and health sectors can work.

  It’s the core of the proposal he submitted to the CPPCC. Under it, a set of work rules with specific tasks will be issued, and periodic action plans released.

  "Through establishing the mechanism, we aim to push forward the adjustment of relevant policies and regulations of our country, and help improve our environment and people's health,” Shi said.

  Shi Xiaoming and his team spent months revising the proposal and fine-tuning its details, to ensure it gains the support of other political advisors at this year’s session.

  Every member of Shi Xiaoming's political group would read their proposals during their meeting. They would not discuss the proposals in much detail, but Shi still wants to bring his best. After the official meeting, Shi was not done. He was seeking input from other CPPCC members. One suggested giving the proposal a sense of greater urgency.

    Zheng Chunyang, president of Robustnique Corporation Ltd, said that if the proposal can be implemented early, the country will be able to accumulate a lot of big data on people’s health. It will be critically important in the making of future policies. Another claimed the proposal was very inclusive.

  Ao Liuquan, deputy secretary of the municipal party committee in Naque in Tibet, said that he thinks Shi Xiaoming’s proposal is very good.

  “I live in Tibet. I mainly pay attention to the environment from a macro-perspective. Your proposal is more specific, with more attention to people’s livelihoods, benefiting everybody,” Ao Liuquan said.

  His proposal also aims to create a huge database of environmental issues which impact people’s health. It will be used to calculate trends which can reduce future risks.

  Not every proposal can be approved by the CPPCC, but Shi’s hard work paid off. Just a couple of days later, the state body directly related to Shi's proposal, the National Health and Family Planning Commission, confirmed that it had received his proposal. The body added that it will conduct the relevant research and investigation while consulting with Shi throughout the process.

  The commission says it will issue a final assessment of the proposal and how it will be implemented possibly in the next few months. Shi Xiaoming said he believes after the relevant bodies issue their policies, and it will facilitate work from all aspects.

  The government will be able to receive accurate data in a timely and effective way, so the relevant governmental bodies can take effective measures to improve people’s health.

  Shi Xiaoming said even as a new member, he’s confident in putting the proposal forward, and pushing for the cause.

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