NPC deputy calls for improving rural health services Updated: 2022-03-24

Geng Funeng, a deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC), has called for more measures to improve the service capacity of medical and health institutions at the grassroots level.

The efforts made in this regard will play a positive role in implementing the rural vitalization strategy as well as the Healthy China initiative, Geng, who is also vice-chairman of the Sichuan Provincial Federation of Industry and Commerce, said in an interview with the Legal Daily.

Grassroots-level medical institutions are at the lowest level of China's three-tier healthcare system and play important roles in prevention and treatment of common and chronic diseases, epidemic response, information registration and public health education in rural areas, the lawmaker said.

Although progress has been made in grassroots healthcare development, there are still weak links, including the inadequacy of facilities and equipment in clinics in remote areas, a shortage of medicines, and underqualified medical workers, he said.

Geng, also president of the Sichuan Good Doctor Pharmaceutical Group, urged more efforts to boost disease prevention and treatment capacity through such measures  as resource input, infrastructure upgrades and skill building.

He also suggested strengthening training of rural doctors, encouraged the opening of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) specialist clinics and TCM treatment of chronic diseases, and called for supporting policies for the institutions that provide internet-based medical services in remote areas or regions below county-level.

Data showed that the number of medical and health institutions in China had reached 1.04 million by November 2021, among which 990,000 were operating at the grassroots level.

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