Guangzhou denies compulsory pre-marital checkups
Updated: 2012-02-24 16:21
By Li Wenfang (chinadaily.com.cn)
GUANGZHOU –The health and family planning authorities of Guangzhou have denied the media report that the city is resuming compulsory pre-marital physical check-up on March 1.
A local newspaper reported on Thursday that the resumption is aimed at promoting better childbearing and rearing, quoting Guangzhou's vice mayor Gong Erzhen.
"Guangzhou will absolutely not adopt compulsory pre-marital physical check-up," said Ming Min, an official with the city's population and family planning bureau, reports Southern Metropolitan Daily.
Huang Sui, a spokesman of the city's health bureau also confirmed to China Daily on Friday, saying the previous media report was incorrect.
"But to lower the birth defect rate, we have always been encouraging couples to undergo free pre-marital physical check-ups," Ming said.
The compulsory pre-marital check-ups were phased out in 2003 in China, spawning a sharp decrease in the rate of the procedure.
Guangzhou adopted free pre-marital check-up in 2007.
Starting in March this year, the authorities will offer free check-ups for pregnant women with local household registration against birth defects such as thalassemia and Down's syndrome, said Huang Jionglie, director of the health bureau, at a health conference held on Wednesday.