12 Jan 2010 14:16

Medical HR an integral part of China's health care reform

(Editor's note: Due to a technology malfunction, the original version of this story was missing several paragraphs. The below is the complete article.)

Shanghai. January 12. INTERFAX-CHINA - China will strengthen its medical human resources to support the health care reform, according to a government opinion released on Jan. 12.

The opinion, issued by the Ministry of Health (MoH), along with five government agencies including the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Education, noted that the government will work to ensure adequate medical staffing to meet the general public's health care needs by 2020.

"The opinion will guide China's medical human resources development over the next few years, including the implementation of specific projects and policy measures," MoH spokesman Deng Haihua said at a press conference held in Beijing on Jan. 12.

A key area for the years to come will be in boosting medical human resources in the rural areas, according to the opinion. From 2009 to 2011, the central government will allocate subsidies to support the employment of more than 3,000 licensed physicians in township clinics, so as to meet the goal of having at least one licensed physician in every township clinic by the end of 2011.

All existing medical staff in township clinics will undergo training once every five years whereas medical staff in village clinics will undergo annual training programs. Additionally, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2009, medical college graduates who take up employment in township clinics in central and western China for more than three years will have their tuition fees fully reimbursed by government agencies.

The opinion also emphasizes that medical universities should strengthen medical ethics education. "The MoH is currently working with relevant government agencies to formulate a set of guidelines for China's hospital residency programs, which will likely be issued soon," Deng added.

Medical institutions will promote a performance-based salary system as well as staff employment on a contractual basis, according to the opinion. Standards to appraise the management of medical institution staff will also be introduced soon.

Last but not least, the opinion calls for government at the various levels to gradually increase medical human resource investments while medical institutions should allocate funds to train high level medical talents.

- KZ