China should resume compulsory premarital medical examination to reduce cases of hereditary and epidemic diseases, a CPPCC member said Friday.
China saw frequent media reports of climbing hereditary and epidemic diseases as a result of a sharp drop of premarital medical examination rate in the past few years.
Pan Guangyan, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), said the abolishment of compulsory premarital medical examination in the revised marriage registration regulations in 2003 should be blamed for the worrisome situation.
The new regulations no longer request people to show their medical examination certificates for marriage registration.
Pan, a professor with the Gansu Agriculture University, said in Lanzhou, capital of northwest China's Gansu Province, the premarital medical examination rate dropped to 3 percent in 2004 from 87 percent in 2002.
"The negative effect of abolishment of the examination is obvious," said Pan ahead of Friday afternoon's annual session of the CPPCC National Committee, the country's top political advisory body.
Compulsory examination is necessary in consideration of family happiness, improvement of the population's quality and social harmony, Pan said.
According to a recent report of the Beijing News, the Ministry of Civil Affairs is considering to revise the country's premarital medical examination regulations.
An anonymous official of the ministry told the newspaper that new rules have been made and are expected to be released in the near future after approval.
Examination expense is regarded as a major cause that lead to people's reluctance to have premarital medical examination.
Such an examination including HIV and venereal diseases tests may cost about 300 yuan (about 38 U.S. dollars).
Some provinces and cities initiated free services to encourage people to have premarital medical examination.
In Xicheng District of Beijing, where a free service started last March, the premarital medical examination rate has risen to 30 percent from 8 percent.
Zhou Hongyu, deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC) and a professor of Huazhong Normal University based in Wuhan of central China's Hubei Province, said the country has to redesign its regulations on premarital medical examination.
Stressing the necessity of premarital medical examination, he said the government should share the expense for premarital medical examination.
The regulations should stipulate which examination service items should be paid by examinees themselves and which by the government, he said.
Zhou will submit a motion on the redesign of the regulations on premarital medical examination.
The country's lawmakers are to convene for NPC's annual session on March 5.