China faces critical pediatrician shortage

China Daily, February 18, 2011

China has a critical shortage of 200,000 pediatricians after 12 years of insufficient training for doctors, the Beijing Times report on Thursday.

Statistics show the number of pediatric doctors in China increased by only 5,000 in the past 15 years, and the current number of pediatric hospitals accounted for only 0.52 percent of total hospitals in China.

The great gap highlights three major pitfalls in children's medical services: shortage of pediatric medical personnel, the absence of relevant planning and lack of government investment, the Beijing Times said in its report.

China stopped pediatrics as an undergraduate major in 1999, which cut off a stable source of medics for the specialist field, said Zhu Zonghan, Chairman of China Pediatric Association.

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