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China Polishes Medical Service in Countryside

China started to set up a rural medical service network to improve basic health care system as the nationwide medical reform continues.

According to last Friday's China Daily, the goal is to help rural residents have easy access to primary health care service.

"Local authorities should take practical measures to promote basic reforms in China's medical care system in the countryside and provide rural residents with better medical treatment," Vice-Minister of Health Peng Yu said.

In China, 900 million rural people, accounting for 70 percent of the population, share just 20 percent of the nation's medical resources.

With the improvement in rural people's living standards, it has become an urgent priority to upgrade medical and health care systems in villages and counties.

Chinese government issued in May an instruction on the reform and development of the rural health care system requiring the establishment of a medical service network to adapt to reform of the economic system and social development in rural areas.

It is also required that health workers in the countryside to pass professional examinations at various levels and have licenses to practise medicine.

(China Daily November 3, 2001)

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