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China nurses increase by 66 pct in 6 years

(Xinhua)

11:58, May 12, 2012

BEIJING, May 11 (Xinhua) -- China had a total of 2.244 million registered nurses by the end of 2011, up 66 percent from 2005, according to a senior official with the Ministry of Health.

"The number of nurses in our country saw the sharpest increase from 2006 to 2010, and their educational attainment, professional skills and service methods also improved greatly," Vice Minister Ma Xiaowei said Friday at a meeting on the country's nursing services.

The meeting was also held to mark the annual International Nurses Day, which falls on May 12.

According to Ma, nurses, which account for roughly half of all hospital staff in the country, are playing a crucial role in the reforms of public hospitals.

Ma called for higher quality health care services for patients through strengthening training and mapping out an effective work evaluation system for nurses.

According to a national guideline on the development of nursing services, the country aims to have roughly two registered nurses per 1,000 persons by 2015. The ratio stood at 1.66 nurses per 1,000 persons in 2011.

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