China to Step up Health Work in Western Areas

China will further improve health services in its western areas in 2001, announced Health Minister Zhang Wenkang Thursday.

He said that the Chinese government will help the western region to prevent and treat infectious diseases. The Ministry of Health will also take measures to curb the spread of venereal diseases and AIDS, and lower the infection rate of HIV. Certain programs will be carried out on the prevention and control of TB.

The government will continue to support the establishment of county-level hospitals in the economically backward western region and build a health service network, in a bid to help people in rural areas have access to medical services.

Women and infant health care in the western region is also being emphasized by the Ministry of Health. During the 2001-2005 period, China will increase health care spending in the western region.

Zhang Wenkang also encouraged medical university graduates in economically-developed areas to work in the western areas.

(People's Daily 02/16/2001)

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