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China has 3.6m medical doctors

Updated: Apr 21,2019 9:27 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China had built a team of nearly 3.61 million medical doctors as of the end of 2018, sustaining the world’s largest healthcare system, the country’s top health official said on April 21.

These medical doctors treat about 8.3 billion patients on average every year, said Ma Xiaowei, head of the National Health Commission (NHC), in a report submitted to China’s top legislature for review at its ongoing bimonthly session.

As of the end of 2018, the number of China’s medical doctors increased by 80.4 percent compared with 1998, and the annual number of treated patients increased by 290.1 percent, according to Ma.

As of the end of 2018, the infant mortality rate in China dropped to 6.1/1,000 from 33.2/1,000 in 1998, and the maternal mortality rate dropped from 56.2/100,000 in 1998 to 18.3/100,000, Ma added.

Main health indicators of residents in China have surpassed the average standards in middle and high income countries, Ma said.

The NHC will actively cooperate with the legislature to revise and improve the laws on medical doctors, he said.

China had around 160,000 medical practitioners working for more than one institution as of the end of 2018, which efficiently relieves the shortage for doctors at private and primary-level healthcare institutions, according to Ma.

Measures will be taken to improve the doctors’ pay level, career prospect, working environment and social status, so as to create a proper mechanism to motivate medical doctors and guarantee their interests, Ma said.