According to a report released by the country’s main administrative authority, China plans to double its number of doctors by 2020 as a way of improving the nation’s healthcare system criticized for its long waiting lines and poor quality rural services.
The set of guidelines which will dictate the country’s restructuring over the next five years, were released on Monday, March 30.
Besides increasing the number of health practitioners, China is also looking to improve the public sector as a whole and offer the technology necessary for improving general activity.
China’s healthcare market is on the rise, catching the attention of global drug companies, medical service firms and hospital operators which are now interested in obtaining parts of the huge income approximated at $1 trillion by 2020.
China’s State Council described the country’s current healthcare resources as insufficient and of poor quality. He added:
“Our structures are badly organized and service systems fragmented. Parts of the public hospital system have also become bloated.”
According to the roadmap, Beijing is planning to have two general doctors per thousand people by 2020, meaning almost a doubling of the resources available at the end of 2013. Chinese authorities also plan a rise in the number of nursing and support staff.
At the moment, China is lacking medical staff, especially doctors. One of the reasons for the present situation is low salaries. This led to tension building up not only among doctors but also amongst frustrated patients.
The guidelines mention the implementation of technological strategies like the use of mobile devices and online “cloud systems” that could help solve certain issues much faster. This will also increase the activity of such tech firms as the Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and its healthcare subdivision Alibaba Health Information Technology Ltd.
The country also plans to use electronic health records connected to digital databases. This way, much of the population will have its patient history records in a digital form.
The main purpose of this 5-year-long plan is to provide access to affordable healthcare services. President’s Xi Jinping’s government also wants to encourage both Chinese and foreign companies to invest as a way of boosting the private sector. This strategy will be implemented because such firms have shown increasing interest in getting involved in hospital management.
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