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Building China’s Physician Capacities

by Fred Fortin

China’s health care delivery system suffers from a chronic shortage of well trained physicians. In a previous post I pointed out agreement had been reached giving the “green light” for wholly owned medical service providers from Hong Kong to set up clinics on the Chinese mainland. Now the news comes from the Taiwan front as well. It’s been reported that an initial group of 262 doctors from Taiwan took China’s National Qualification Examination for Physicians last Friday, three months after the Ministry of Health announced their eligibility to sit the annual test. The demand for Taiwanese physicians seems to be on the rise with many of these migrating professionals hoping to be allowed to open clinics just like their peers from Hong Kong. And while the numbers are small the potential for improvements in the quality of health care is wide open.

In a related report, China ’s rural army of about one million health care workers who serve as “doctors” and who care for the country’s hundreds of millions of farmers and peasants may be getting some needed — although limited — training. Most have no formal medical education and little knowledge of Western medicine or how to use it. A government supported private company has outfitted some 6,000 classrooms in eight provinces, which has brought in more than 120,000 rural health workers for training. Haoyisheng.com Inc., (”Good Doctor “- sorry Chinese language only site) is teaching them the basics. Over the past four years, the Beijing-based company, has set up outlets in remote villages and small cities where local doctors attend video classes in essential matters of diagnosis and care.

As limited as they are, these efforts demonstrate the continued commitment of China’s health care leadership to strengthen the health care delivery system. When the typical China-related health news story is mostly a scandal driven headline, it’s helpful to know that good people are still trying to do good things.


2 Comments »

[…] my complete post over at World Health Care Blog. Posted in WorldHealthCareBlog, Globalization, China, […]

[…] suitable training and a web-enabled laptop provided to each one of China’s rural doctors (see previous post) the opportunities for improving the quality of care as well as more effectively managing the […]

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