The health level of Chinese cities saw a stable increase over the last four years in terms of health service, industry, facility and environment, which shows a positive trend toward the construction of livable cities nationwide, experts said.
The overall health index increased 2.1 percent year-on-year in 2023, and 249 out of 296 cities surveyed showed that their health index grew, according to a report released by the Institute for Sustainable Urbanization at Tsinghua University in Beijing on Tuesday.
The number of cities pioneering in health development also increased, which included Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing in Jiangsu province, and Hangzhou in Zhejiang province. Their advantages were more obvious in healthcare expenditure security, scale of the healthcare industry and the layout of healthcare facilities, the report said.
Eastern cities performed better in the qualified rate of residents' physical fitness, while southern cities had a better performance in the prevention and control of air pollution, it said.
The research team also collected data from 19 cities in 11 countries. The result showed that Chinese cities have advantages in life expectancy, medical conditions and urban greening, while foreign cities performed well in environmental governance and living behaviors.
Mao Qun'an, head of the National Health Commission's department of planning and information, said that the report precisely depicted the health development of Chinese cities based on big data, providing valuable experience for the government to conduct evaluations of healthy city construction.
"The health of the people is both a necessary requirement and an important indicator of the Chinese path to modernization," he said, adding that the healthy and sustainable development of a city is essential for achieving balance, coordination, transformation and upgrading, and common prosperity.