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China invested 10b USD in basic public health in past 2 yrs

BEIJING, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- The total fiscal investment of China's government departments at all levels in the basic public health services has topped 65 billion yuan (10.17 billion U.S. dollars) over the past two years, Chen Zhu, the Minister of Health revealed at a conference on Thursday.

According to Chen, as of the end of June, the central government had invested more than 35 billion yuan to fund the basic public health services program, which was launched in July 2009, while the local governments have invested over 30 billion yuan.

The government has increased the funding for grassroots medical service institutions and made further efforts to ensure the funding for housing, equipment and personnel in the program, Chen said.

The basic public health service program aims to provide basic health care services such as regular physical examinations and vaccinations for all children under age of 6, while the previous services only benefited children under the age of 3.

The programs also offers free services to pregnant women and people over the age 65, such as regular and comprehensive physical examinations.

As of June, China had established health information files for 50.2 percent of all citizens, and 37.6 percent of urban citizens and 21.8 percent of rural residents have health files stored in digital forms, according to a document issued at the conference, which focused on promoting the basic public health service program.

Moreover, a total of 81 million people aged 65 or older have received health examinations and 44 million high blood pressure patients, nearly 11 million diabetics and 2.2 million patients with severe mental illnesses were put into systematic healthcare management, the document said.

In April 2009, China unveiled a three-year investment plan for the country's health care reform, which involved an investment of at least 850 billion yuan.


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