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China aims to alleviate general practitioner shortage by 2020

Updated: May 16,2017 8:47 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China plans to train more than 150,000 general practitioners during the five years until 2020 to cope with a national shortage, according to a document unveiled on May 16.

The five-year program on training of medical professionals was jointly released by the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), the Ministry of Finance and the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

The government will focus on training general practitioners for less-developed central and western regions as well as rural and grassroots areas, it said.

There were 189,000 general practitioners in China as of 2015, accounting for only 6.2 percent of the total number of doctors, with one general practitioner for every 10,000 citizens.

In addition, the government also aimed to offer training for about 500,000 resident doctors by 2020, according to the program.

China had 3.04 million practicing doctors and 3.24 million registered nurses as of 2015, which means 2.22 doctors for every 1,000 citizens, the NHFPC figures show.