China to begin setting up 16 more regional health centers in 2021

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China will begin establishing another 16 regional health centers in 2021 to provide the public with easier access to quality medical services, according to an official with the National Health Commission Saturday.

In addition, the country will also push forward the establishment of national medical centers and national research centers for clinical medicine, said Li Bin, deputy head of the commission, at a conference on the reform on medicine and healthcare system held in Hefei, east China's Anhui Province.

The effort is in line with the State Council's requirement to balance the distribution of medical resources and improve the tiered system of diagnosis and treatment, conveyed in a document released in May.

The major task of the reform in the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025) is to ensure that patients receive proper medical services without leaving their native provincial-level regions, and that treatment for minor illness can be provided at their doorstep, said Xu Shuqiang, another commission official.

Previously, China had already established regional health centers in eight provinces. "Next year, regional health centers in China will basically cover all provincial-level regions," Xu added.

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