China Commits to Country Health Overhaul

23 April 2009 (Last Updated April 23rd, 2009 18:30)

The Chinese Government says it plans to build new medical clinics in 700,000 villages across the country in the next three years. The plan is a part of 850bn Yuan (£84.5bn) revamp of the healthcare system, aimed at improving medical care in China's countryside, which has suffered vast p

The Chinese Government says it plans to build new medical clinics in 700,000 villages across the country in the next three years.

The plan is a part of 850bn Yuan (£84.5bn) revamp of the healthcare system, aimed at improving medical care in China's countryside, which has suffered vast poverty for the past 30 years.

The government will also extend basic medical coverage and insurance to 90% of China's 1.3 billion people, besides training 1.4 million medical professionals to staff village clinics, a report in UK newspaper The Guardian said.

The central government will pay 40% of these costs, and local authorities will cover the remaining required funds.

China's vice-finance minister Wang Jun said in total the government will build an additional 2,000 county hospitals and renovate or build 3,700 community clinics and 11,000 health service centres in urban areas under the healthcare reform plan.

"The priority will be given to poverty-stricken areas in central and western China, which lags behind wealthy coastal provinces of the east, for allocating of funds," Jun said.

By staff writer.