All levels of Chinese government have endeavored to invest more in medical and health development, strengthening the construction of the public health system, rural medical system, and all early-warning and emergency systems, said Zhu Qingsheng, vice minister of health.
Speaking at the 21st century international medical forum held in Beijing recently, Zhu said he believed that China's medical development and reform was now at a new stage.
All circles of society had already realized that medical and health undertakings were a crucial factor bearing on economic development and social progress, Zhu said.
China has made plans to construct a nationwide disease prevention and control system, including a state-level center and local branches with the total investment of over 7.4 billion yuan (about US$895 million).
Zhu said that China planned to invest 11.4 billion yuan (about US$1.4 billion) in establishing a number of emergency medical centers and specialized hospitals for epidemic disease prevention and control in major cities.
In addition, the central government would allocate another 400 million yuan (about US$48.4 million) to boost the cooperative medical system in China's vast rural areas and had put aside over 300 million yuan (about US$36.3 million) for the medical infrastructure construction in poverty-stricken areas, said Zhu.
(Xinhua News Agency March 3, 2004)