Chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diabetes are the major causes of death in China today. According to a report published by the national health economics institute, more than US $12 billion will be spent on the treatment of these diseases. By 2000, the annual expenditure will cross US $14.7 billion, which is 30 per cent of the national health budget.

Apart from the 90 million hypertension and 20 million diabetes cases, about 1.6 million people suffer from cancer, whereas nearly 1.5 million suffer from strokes every year. Moreover, 13,000 of these patients die everyday.

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