BEIJING, April 7 -- China will establish at least one clinic in every village within three years, under a medical reform plan released by the State Council in Beijing on Tuesday.
The government will also support the construction of 2,000 hospitals at the county level, to guarantee that each county has a hospital that meets the national standard. The three-year plan for 2009-2011 also said more township hospitals and clinics will be built or expanded in 2009.
The country will build or renovate 3,700 community clinics and 11,000 health service centers in urban areas within three years. The central government will also build 2,400 centers in underdeveloped urban areas.
Despite China's economic progress, rural health care services have lagged because most facilities and doctors are in cities.
Poorly-equipped clinics and staff shortages restrict the quality and availability of rural health care. Some rural people have fallen into poverty because of high medical fees and the cost of traveling to big cities for treatment.
Xinhua news agency correspondents reporting from Beijing