BEIJING, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- A general practitioners (GP) training program and free education for medical students are initiatives that will help boost China's medical services in the countryside.
The country's vice health minister Zhang Mao spoke of the plans in an interview with Xinhua on Thursday.
During his keynote speech to the Second China-U.S. Health Summit, Dr. Lincoln Chen, president of the U.S.-based China Medical Board backed the initiatives and said the two moves would boost health human resources.
China's GP program consists of five years training in a medical school and three years of clinical GP training.
According to the "Directions on the Establishment of the General Practitioner System", issued by the State Council July, 2011, there will be two or three general practitioners for every 10,000 urban and rural residents by 2020.
China also launched an initiative in 2010, recruiting medical students contracted to serve six years after graduation at township clinics. During their studies, they will be exempt from paying tuition, and receive free room and board, plus extra living expenses.
Other measures to improve health services, include establishing a family practitioner system in urban communities, using urban doctors to serve in rural clinics, and using information technology in medical services.
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