China achieves full village-level medical facilities coverage
Family doctors on their way to provide medical services to villagers in Qiangyuan Town, Zhejiang Province, May 17, 2022. [CFP]
The National Health Commission (NHC) declared on Tuesday that China achieved full medical facilities coverage at the county, township and village levels in 2021.
As of the end of 2021, more than 23,000 county-level medical and health institutions, 35,000 township health centers and 599,000 village-level clinics were established, allowing residents to access medical services within 15 minutes, said Zhu Hongming, deputy director of the commission's primary health department.
At present, more than 90 percent of county residents receive medical treatment within their counties, Zhu said.
The commission will continue to guide rural medical and health institutions to improve their service capacity. As of 2022, rural residents have been able to access 12 types of basic public health services, including vaccination and diabetes management, at community-level medical and health institutions where they live.
Illness is a major cause of poverty. According to official data over the years, about 40 percent of all poverty-stricken families became so due to illness, Zhang Xuying, deputy director of China Population and Development Research Center, told the press conference.
Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the country has helped nearly 10 million families who were driven to or returned to poverty due to illness to lift themselves out of poverty.
The country has also been improving home doctor services. By the end of 2021, there were over 1.4 million family doctors nationwide who had set up 431,000 teams to provide contracted services to residents, Zhu said.