Township health centers in China's 592 very poor counties will be backed up by city doctors from the beginning of 2007, according to the Ministry of Health.
Each of the township health centers, all located in central and western parts of China, will receive three doctors from city hospitals.
The central government has allocated 197 million yuan (about US$ 25.3 million) as subsidies to city hospitals for offering the assistance next year at a standard of 18,000 yuan (about US$ 2,308) for each doctor.
The Ministry of Health will examine the effects of the project, both in the middle and by the end of its implementation.
Statistics from the ministry show that only 20 percent of China's medical resources are located in rural areas, home to about 70 percent of China's population.
The ministry initiated the practice of sending city doctors to help rural health centers on a trial basis in 2005.
(Xinhua News Agency December 29, 2006)