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Government promotes use of family doctors


02-13-2017 09:37 BJT

China's big hospitals are always crowded. For a long time, it has been a headache for both patients and doctors. The government is now building a hierarchical medical system, one that encourages patients to seek medical care from grass-roots institutions. The promotion of family doctors will be a big leap forward this year.

"We have set up family doctor services in 200 public hospitals in trial cities across China, and will encourage more trials in other areas. By the end of 2016, the service coverage will have reached 15 percent in urban areas , and over 30 percent in the key groups of patients." said Liang Wannian, deputy director of Health Reform office, state council.

Government healthcare expenditure was nearly 1.2 trillion yuan last year, 16 percent more than in 2014. Thanks to subsidies, individuals now pay less than 30 percent on medical care, a 5 percent drop from 2010. However, critical illness is still a major cause of poverty. But the burden will be eased by expanding insurance coverage.

"We have reached a comprehensive coverage of critical illness insurance, and eased the burden on more people for serious illnesses. We will increase the intensity of medical assistance, reform medical insurance payments, and quicken the speed of facilitating commercial health insurance. " said Liang

This year, as the country allows couples to have two children, more pediatricians will be trained to meet the needs. At the same time, doctors will gradually be allowed to work in more than one hospital, allowing the country to further balance its limited medical resources.

"President Xi Jinping says China's reforms must help people feel a sense of gain. The target for healthcare is to ensure that everyone can enjoy basic medical services, spend less to get it, and live longer. Currently, the average life expectancy of a Chinese person is just over 76 years. One and a half years longer than in 2010." said Zheng Yibing, Beijing.

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