Balancing prosperity and health will be a major challenge for policy makers in China, especially if the nation wants to capitalize on its economic gains, says a leading US expert on global health.
Laurie Garrett, currently the senior fellow of the Global Health Program at the Council on Foreign Relations, a think tank specializing in US foreign policy and international affairs, says that the task appears to be daunting considering that sectors like finance and energy hold more sway in government corridors, rather than health.
"It is important for the government to realize that prosperity with poor health is not prosperity at all. Rather, it is like the money in a bank account that is used for cancer treatment," she says.
Talking about the current challenges for China, Garrett says the government must take immediate steps to prevent the air quality from deteriorating further.
"It is not good for people's health, and it makes people feel depressed that they cannot see the sun at all," Garrett says referring to the air quality in Beijing. "It is also really bad that the poor air quality will lead to diseases like cancer."
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