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China's Public Healthcare System to See Remarkable Improvement Within Two years
Chinese executive Vice-Minister of Health Gao Qiang pledged at a press conference Friday that China will increase funding for the restructuring of the public health care system and that the major projects of the restructuring would be completed within two years.

According to Gao, China's Health Ministry is joining hands with the Ministry of Finance and the State Development and Reform Commission to organize the improvement of the national health infrastructure.

Gao revealed that China will establish state and local Centers of Disease Control (CDC) by the end of next year and train skillful, well-equipped, flexible, mobile medical expert teams within the same time period.

China has allocated 2.9 billion yuan (about US$362.5 million) and 1.7 billion yuan (US$205 million), respectively, to set up local and state CDCs, Gao said.

Gao told the reporters that China would further modify its disease control mechanism and restructure the public health care system.

Special infectious disease hospitals are expected to be established in municipalities directly under the administrative control of the central government and in the capital cities of China's provinces and autonomous regions, Gao said, adding that some county hospitals would also set up quarantine wards.

Gao also noted that most of the additional funding in the state budget allocated for public health would be used to restructure and purchase facilities for rural hospitals and clinics.

(Xinhua News Agency May 30, 2003)

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