China's central government will subsidize community-based health services in the central and western regions starting next year, a Chinese health official said on Thursday.
The central government will also provide infrastructure support including basic equipment and training small, community health centers.
Beginning next year, the central government will subsidize community-based health services in the central and western regions respectively three or four yuan (37.5 to 40 US cents) per capita,said Jiang Zuojun at a press conference.
The subsidies will also be based on the performance of the community health services, he said.
Over 95 percent of cities above county level in China provide community health services and more than 3,400 community health centers and 12,000 community health stations have been set up.
Jiang said that the subsidies will be established according to need. In addition to the central government's investment, the provincial, municipal and district governments will also invest in community health service.
"With economic development, the subsidies will increase to possibly 10 yuan (1.25 US dollars) or even 20 yuan (2.5 US dollars), with a wider coverage of health services," he said.
The government encourages community health services for its more convenient, quicker medical services that can ease the pressure of large hospitals.
(Xinhua News Agency August 11, 2006)