The Chinese government will reform and expand 550 psychiatric hospitals across the country within the next two years in an attempt to boost recovery rates and prevent patients from causing harm to society, Xinhuanet.com reports.
Vice Health Minister Yin Li released the news during a national conference on the comprehensive management of public security which was held in Chengdu, capital city of southwest China's Sichuan Province, on June 18-19.
Yin says China will reinforce the development of community health centers in cities and local clinics in rural areas. Patients with serious mental illnesses will be included in public health service programs, which means more patients will receive medical treatment at lower cost throughout the country.
According to Yin, the recent medical reform program attaches great importance to the management of psychiatric patients with serious conditions. About 45,000 poor patients have received free treatment, and 7,000 have received free hospitalization. Health officials have documented 900,000 serious cases.
Chinese hospitals also will seek to establish a social support and mental health service system to help people deal with pressure. As part of the program, psychological assistance hotlines already have been opened in 24 cities.