30 Jul 2009 11:39

China to accelerate health care infrastructure reconstruction in quake-hit regions

Shanghai. July 30. INTERFAX-CHINA - Provincial health bureaus should help speed up the reconstruction of health care infrastructure in regions hit by last year's May 12 earthquake, the Ministry of Health (MoH) announced on July 29.

In June last year, the State Council requested that 19 provinces in eastern and central China provide aid to 18 quake-hit counties and cities in Sichuan Province as well as to six counties in Gansu and Shaanxi provinces.

According to the announcement, each of the 19 provinces should contribute aid that amounts to 1 percent of its fiscal revenue in 2008. Provincial health bureaus should coordinate with provincial finance bureaus and development and reform commissions in fundraising.

The MoH said that the health care infrastructure in the quake-hit regions should be set up within two years, rather than three years as previously announced, by the middle of next year.

In addition, the MoH emphasized that health bureaus of the 19 provinces should send adequate medical staff to the quake-hit regions to help in areas such as medical staff training, improvement of medical diagnosis and treatment standards, control of hospital infections and drug safety management.

As of July 20 this year, central and provincial governments had invested RMB 8.71 billion ($1.28 billion), or 73.95 percent of the projected total investment, on 1,443 health care projects in the quake-hit regions. In particular, 231 projects have been completed and 7,300 medical staff have been sent in over 80 batches to the quake-hit regions.