Food Safety in The People's Republic of China - Government Departments - Ministry of Health

Ministry of Health

Established in 1949, the Ministry of Health encompasses general health policies, health law enforcement, children's and seniors' health policies, and diseases and emergencies. It provides experts to investigate poisoning cases, enforces food safety and hygiene inspections, and can order local health departments to conduct investigations into food quality violations. The Ministry of Health also oversees the Institute of Food Safety Control and Inspection, an agency that has studied and identified unsafe foods and has helped local health authorities form policies and training programs to combat unsafe food production and handling practices. The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health has called the Ministry of Health "the most important governing body of food safety."

The general duties of the Ministry of Health are:

  1. To draft health laws, regulations and policies; to propose health development programs and strategic goals; to formulate technical protocols, health standards and to supervise their enforcement.
  2. To propose regional health programs, to conduct overall planning and to coordinate the nationwide allocation of health resources.
  3. To formulate working programs and policies on rural health, as well as maternal and child health care; to guide the implementation of primary health programs and technical protocols on maternal and child health care.
  4. To implement the policy of "Prevention First" and to conduct health education to the general public. To develop programs on the prevention and treatment of diseases that endanger the health of the population; to organize the comprehensive prevention and treatment of major diseases; to publicize the quarantine list of communicable diseases and the surveillance list of infectious diseases.
  5. To guide the reform of medical institutions; to formulate criteria for medical practitioners, medical quality and service delivery, and to supervise their enforcement.
  6. To regulate by law blood collection at blood or plasma centers and the quality of blood for clinical transfusion.
  7. To draft key national development programs on medical science, technology and education; to organize key national medical and health researches; to guide the dissemination and application of medical achievements. To administer the affiliated institutions.
  8. To supervise communicable disease prevention and treatment, food health, occupational, environmental, radiological, and school health. To formulate food and cosmetics quality control protocols and be responsible for their accreditation.
  9. To formulate national development programs on health professionals and professional ethics protocols for health personnel; to draft and implement staffing standards for health institutions and accreditation criteria for health personnel.
  10. To organize and guide multi-lateral and bilateral governmental and non-governmental health and medical cooperation and exchanges and medical aid to other countries, to participate in major health events initiated by international organizations. To coordinate medical and health exchanges and collaborations between China and the World Health Organization and other international organizations.
  11. To implement the policy of developing both western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine.
  12. To do the routine work of the National Patriotic Health Campaign Committee.
  13. To coordinate and dispatch technical health capacity nationwide, to assist local governments and relevant agencies in emergency response to major epidemics and diseases and in epidemic and disease prevention and control.
  14. To undertake other work as designated by the State Council.

Read more about this topic:  Food Safety In The People's Republic Of China, Government Departments

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