6 Aug 2009 14:20

China to set up health records for 30 pct of rural residents by 2011

Shanghai. August 6. INTERFAX-CHINA - China will set up health records for no less than 30 percent of all rural residents by 2011, according to a draft working plan released by the Ministry of Health (MoH) on Aug. 6.

The MoH is seeking consultation from provincial health authorities on the draft working plan for the setup of health records in rural areas. This will be carried out as part of the establishment of the nationwide electronic health record system, which is one of the public health services projects under China's health care reform.

The draft working plan stipulates that health records for no less than 5 percent of the total number of rural residents in each province will be set up by the end of this year, with priority given to the elderly, pregnant women, children, disabled residents and chronic disease patients.

Township clinics will be responsible for setting up the health records and will be aided by village clinics. The MoH hopes that the establishment of a health record system will encourage doctors from township and village clinics to pay more home visits to patient households in the future.

In addition, the MoH is requesting provincial health authorities to select approximately 5 percent of the counties within their province to conduct the trial setup of health records this year. In the selected counties, health records will be set up for 80 percent of their rural residents by 2011.

Some regions have already started setting up health records for rural residents. From 1999 to the beginning of last year, Zhangqiu City in Shandong Province set up health records for 190,570 of its elderly rural residents while Beijing spent RMB 60 million ($8.78 million) last year to set up health records for its rural residents.

Provincial health authorities must submit their feedback before Aug. 11 this year.