"Without reproduction, there will be no human beings, and full-cycle health services should start from the beginning of life", "Assisted reproductive technology should strengthen scientific and standardize management to better benefit the whole population." Song Li, the deputy director-general of the Department of Maternal & Child Health, National Health Commission of China, shared her thoughts on China's reproductive technology-related policies at the “Reproductive Medicine” session of the 8th U.S.-China Health Summit.
SONG Li, Deputy Director-General, Department of Maternal and Child Health Services, National Health Commission of China
"Policy Interpretation in Reproductive Technology and Management"
Provide Full-Cycle Maternal and Child Health Services from the Beginning of Life
In 2016, there were 451 institutions that carried out assisted reproductive technology in China; more than 15,000 people specialize in reproductive health services, and the total number of services has increased rapidly in the past few years, exceeding 1 million for the first time in 2016. Song Li said, “Reproductive health involves the population quality, and we still face challenges in this regard.”
Assisted reproduction is not only a technology, but also bears the crucial mission of human reproduction at the source of life. Song Li suggested, "Our assisted reproductive technology should focus on the next generation and the mother & child lines to protect the full-cycle health." From pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, to newborns, infancy, and to adolescents, childbearing age… we should provide a full range of full-cycle health service for the people.
Protect Reproductive Health and Prohibit the Commercialization of Assisted Reproductive Technology
The target of reproductive technology services lies in humans - humans with warmth and emotion, not just an organ or a disease. We should provide a comprehensive human-centered health service.
Therefore, in the direction of assisted reproductive development, Song Li pointed out that it is necessary to adhere to scientific guidance, rational application, and standardized service, and prohibit the commercialization of human assisted reproductive technology. Excessive marketization and commercialization will inevitably bring harm to the development of human reproduction. The application of assisted reproductive technology must be included in the overall framework of maternal and child health and remain human-centered.
Assisted reproductive technology is an important technology for maternal and child health care. The third article of the Measures for the Implementation of Maternal and Infant Health Care Law of the People's Republic of China clearly stipulates that maternal and child health care technical services mainly include pre-marital medical examination, prenatal diagnosis and hereditary disease diagnosis, delivery technology, screening for neonatal diseases, etc. Song Li suggested that these matters clearly define the premise and foundation of reproductive health work, to ensure that we provide standardized health services for the people, and safeguard family well-being as well as social harmony.