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Each village will have a clinic in three years
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08:40, April 08, 2009

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At least one medical centre will operate in every village within China by 2011, the government said.

New details of the healthcare reform package show there are plans to renovate or build more than 3,700 community clinics and 11,000 health centers.

Liu Xue'en, a professor with the department of health economics and management at Peking University, said it will take the pressure off hospitals by giving rural people access to medical centers for minor ailments such as colds.

"The construction of clinics in rural areas and urban communities has become a key part in the reform scheme, which is an effective way to release the pressure on big hospitals."

The 850-billion-yuan ($124 billion) reform package is designed to provide equitable and universal access to healthcare for China's 1.3 billion residents.

In announcing further details of the package yesterday, the government said additional training would be given to 1.37 million village doctors and 160,000 community doctors.

Public hospital doctors will have to work for one year at rural hospitals before they are considered for promotion.

The government said it would also fund the construction of 29,000 township hospitals and upgrade a further 5,000.

Priority will be given to the construction of 2,000 hospitals so each county has access to medical facilities in line with national standards.

The government said rural healthcare services had been neglected because most medical facilities and doctors are in cities.

Xinhua contributed to the story

Source: China Daily

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