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China Daily / 2021-04 / 08 / Page009

Raise doctors' pay to improve medical care in rural areas

By Kang Bing | China Daily | Updated: 2021-04-08 00:00

Editor's Note: From "bare-foot doctors" to the most expansive and effective medical insurance system, China has made remarkable achievements in the healthcare sector. In the sixth of a series of commentaries, a senior journalist with China Daily traces the eventful journey of China's healthcare achievements.

Although nearly 1 million students graduate from medical schools every year, China still has a shortage of doctors, which is compounded by a large number of medical graduates' reluctance to work in rural hospitals, especially grassroots hospitals and clinics, because of the relatively poor salary and unsatisfactory working and living conditions. Unless effectively dealt with, this problem can arrest the development of China's ambitious national healthcare system.

According to statistics, China has nearly 13 million health workers, but only 3.86 million of them are doctors with the rest being registered or unregistered nurses, and technical personnel. These 13 million people work in about 1 million medical institutions in the country and handle 8.72 billion outpatient cases a year. Yet only a little more than 30,000 of the 1 million medical institutions are hospitals, and less than half of them are public hospitals that offer good pay and career prospects.

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