(Xinhua) Tibet Autonomous Region in southwest China plans to raise its average life expectancy by two years to 70 in five years, a local official has said.
Medical services in rural areas will be greatly improved to achieve this goal, Zeng Wanming, head of the region's organization department, said at a meeting on Tibet's medical sector.
The average life expectancy in Tibet was 68.2 years in 2013, up from 35.5 years before its peaceful liberation in 1951, yet still eight years behind the inland, due to the high altitude and difficult access to medical service in the scarcely-populated region.
"In high-altitude areas, even a cold can be lethal to the infirm," said Tashi, a doctor in Tsewugarmo Village in Ngari Prefecture, adding that before the arrival of village doctors, many rural Tibetans had to travel miles to see a doctor.
Every village in Tibet now has a clinic and an average of two medical practitioners, thanks to a 4 billion yuan (627 million U.S. dollars) funding injection from the central government over the past five years.