15 Jul 2009 14:26

Zhejiang to recruit 500 medical college students to work as rural GPs

Shanghai. July 15. INTERFAX-CHINA - The Zhejiang Provincial Health Bureau will this year offer 500 fresh college entrants the opportunity to work as general practitioners in rural medical institutions upon graduation through a bond program, it announced on July 15.

According to the announcement, selected prospective students of Zhejiang Medical College, Huzhou Teachers College and Jinhua Vocational Technical College will sign contracts with municipal health bureaus to work as general practitioners in rural areas for a bond period of no less than five years upon graduation. The prospective students will commence college in September this year.

In return, municipal health bureaus will provide each student a total of RMB 20,000 ($2,928) to cover tuition and college accommodation expenses, of which 40 percent will be distributed during the three-year undergraduate course and the remaining will be handed out on commencement of employment.

"This is the first time that the Zhejiang government has launched a student bond program to boost the number of general practitioners in the province. We will decide whether to expand the recruitment pool next year based on the demand of grassroots medical institutions in rural areas as well as available college resources," Jiang Jianmin, director of the Zhejiang Provincial Health Bureau's science and technology education division, told Interfax on July 15.

"Graduate recruitment, further trainings for existing medical staff, doctor secondment programs and recruitment exercises in regions outside of Zhejiang are the main measures we will undertake to strengthen medical human resources in Zhejiang's rural areas," Jiang said.

At present, there are about 70,000 medical staff working in township and village clinics across Zhejiang, of which 27 percent do not hold college degrees.