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$1.76 bln needed to restore medical system in quake zone
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A total of 12 billion yuan (about 1.76 billion U.S. dollars) will be needed to restore the medical system in the quake-hit zone, according to a health official on Thursday.

The money would be spent on the rebuilding, renovation and reinforcement of damaged hospitals and medical institutions, said Zhao Zilin, director of Planning and Finance Department under the Ministry of Health.

The Ministry had worked out a medical system reconstruction plan with medical authorities in Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu, three provinces hit hardest by the May 12 magnitude-8.0 earthquake and forwarded to the State Council for approval, he said.

The 12 billion yuan budget would also cover the expense of buying new medical facilities and maintenance of broken equipment in 51 counties and cities in the three provinces, he said.

General hospitals, traditional Chinese medicine hospitals, specialist hospitals and clinics at township and village levels would all benefit from the budget, he noted, adding women and children care units, disease prevention center and hygiene monitoring centers were also on the list of beneficiaries.

To cope with the need of post-quake construction, the ministry had also planned to send 2 billion yuan worth of facilities to general hospitals at county level, women and children care units at county level and clinics at both village and township levels, the official said.

Electrocardiographs (ECG), automated external defibrillators(AED), ambulances, biological microscopes and X-ray machines were listed as the newly-added facilities.

(Xinhua News Agency August 1, 2008)

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