China Aims to Double Doctor Numbers as Cure for Healthcare Woes

China Aims to Double Doctor Numbers as Cure for Healthcare Woes

In this Dec. 9, 2014 file photo, Chinese government propaganda words which read "Prosperity and Powerful" are displayed on a wall near a construction site in Beijing, China. China's economic growth slowed to 7.4 percent last year, the weakest expansion in more than two decades. The numbers released Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2014 are still miles ahead of growth rates in major industrialized economies, but represent a sharp decline from double digit growth in previous years. That adds to pressure on the country's communist leaders as they try to prevent a sharper slowdown in 2015 while overhauling the economy.(AP Photo/Andy Wong, FIle)
In this Dec. 9, 2014 file photo, Chinese government propaganda words which read “Prosperity and Powerful” are displayed on a wall near a construction site in Beijing, China. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, FIle)

 

(Reuters) – China will almost double the number of its general doctors by 2020, trim its public sector and improve technology as it seeks to fix a healthcare system plagued by snarling queues and poor rural services, its main administrative authority has said.

China’s fast-growing healthcare market is a magnet for global drug makers, medical device firms and hospital operators, all looking to take a slice of a healthcare bill expected to hit $1 trillion by 2020, according to McKinsey & Co.

“Healthcare resources overall are insufficient, quality is too low, our structures are badly organized and service systems fragmented. Parts of the public hospital system have also become bloated,” China’s State Council said in a five-year roadmap announced late on Monday.

The roadmap, which laid out targets for healthcare officials nationwide between 2015 and 2020, said Beijing wanted to have two general doctors per thousand people by 2020, close to double the number at the end of 2013, as well as increasing the number of nursing and support staff.

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