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Gov't spending on contraceptives quadruples in two decades in China

(Xinhua)

15:16, November 23, 2011

BEIJING, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government's expenditure on contraceptives has almost quadrupled in the last two decades, according to new figures released Wednesday by the country's family-planning body.

Government procurement of condoms and contraceptive drugs and devices totalled 582 million yuan (91.6 million U.S. dollars) in 2011, an increase of 431 million yuan from the equivalent amount in 1990, said the National Population and Family Planning Commission (NPFPC).

As part of its family-planning policy, China has distributed free condoms and contraceptives to people of childbearing age since the 1970s, when the policy was introduced.

According to the commission, medical instrument management institutions at provincial level number 37, while institutions at county level total 2,826, with about 20,000 full-time staff and 700,000 working part-time throughout the nation.

"We should improve the medical instruments management and distribution service, and ensure drug safety," said Chen Li, NPFPC deputy director.

People in rural areas can either enjoy a door-to-door service delivering free condoms and contraceptives on a regular basis, or go to villagers' committees and clinics to ask for them.

Urban residents can get free condoms by swiping their ID card through self-service machines installed in communities. They can also arrange home delivery for just one yuan (0.16 U.S. dollars) after an online or telephone order.

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