BEIJING, April 20, 2009 -- China's chief economic planning body, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), will put more effort into building and perfecting a rural health care system.
Zhang Ping, the NDRC director, told a work conference Monday that the commission would work with health care departments to invest in projects in China's vast hinterland.
The NDRC has allocated 10 billion yuan (1.46 billion U.S. dollars) from the central budget to 480 county-level hospitals, 1,993 township hospitals and 1,154 urban community health service centers, Zhang said.
The funds are part of the central government's commitment to financing the country's ambitious 850-billion-yuan health care reform plan.
Zhang said the NDRC would improve the medical infrastructure and train more staff in the next three years to improve service in rural areas.
Health Minister Chen Zhu agreed, saying the ministry would make more effort to perfect the grassroots medical care system and develop a new rural cooperative medical care system.
China wants to have more than 90 percent of its population, urban and rural, covered by some sort of basic medical insurance by 2011, according to the reform plan.