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Shanghai launches healthcare campaign
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A three-year campaign to improve local healthcare was launched in Shanghai yesterday during a regular government press conference.

The campaign will mostly focuses on the establishment of a comprehensive public health system, the improvement of community medical services, and the optimization of medical resources and facilities, Xu Jianguang, head of the Shanghai health bureau said at the conference.

"The city is seeking to set up a comprehensive basic healthcare system that both urban and rural residents can afford," he said.

The number of first aid stations in the city will be increased to 100, and the number of ambulances to 500, he said.

An emergency burns center will be opened, as well as three trauma centers and three children's emergency centers, he said.

Better blood testing laboratories and more blood donation stations will also be set up this year, Xu said.

In addition to the campaign, a program to provide better community training for 60 of the city's general practitioners will also be launched soon, Xu said.

The use of traditional Chinese medicine will also be encouraged at hospitals and health centers, he said.

Between 20 and 25 medical centers capable of providing TCM treatments and advice will open this year, Xu said.

Ji Weiping, a Shanghai health official, said earlier: "It is always more cost-effective to prevent health problems, than it is to treat them.

"Investing in TCM is good because the practice is a cornerstone of the Chinese health system."

(China Daily February 18, 2009)

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