China vows to improve food safety, grassroots medical services in 2011

21:35, January 06, 2011      

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China's Minister of Health vowed Thursday to improve food safety regulations this year while ensuring adequate numbers of medical workers for and low prices at grassroots medical institutions.

"We will improve the system of releasing food safety information to the public...and continue to crack down on illegal use of non-edible additives," Minister Chen Zhu said at a meeting on China's 2011 health work.

Chen said the country will establish special organizations to evaluate food safety risks.

The country will also improve the system for investigating major food safety incidents and boost abilities to cope with emergency food accidents.

At the meeting, Chen said China will make more efforts to provide good doctors and specialist technicians to county-level hospitals, especially those in impoverished areas.

The country plans to train 10,000 pharmacists for grassroots health institutions this year.

The ministry will adjust the basic medicine catalog in accordance with people's needs to promote the basic medicine system in medical institutions.

According to the ministry, 57.2 percent of government-funded medical institutions at the grassroots level have implemented the system, which stipulates drugs be sold at prices initially government-set.

Figures from the National Development and Reform Commission show the price of basic medicines dropped 30 percent after the system took effect.

The country's basic medicine system, first implemented in 2009, currently covers 307 medicines.

Source: Xinhua
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