China wants 500,000 more general practitioners by 2030, a health official said Thursday.
At present, China has 209,000 general practitioners, but aims to enable every 10,000 residents to have access to five competent general practitioners by 2030, said Zeng Yixin, deputy head of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, at a press conference.
Citing a guideline on the development of general practitioners issued by the State Council, Zeng said that key reforms would be carried out, including increasing salaries and the social status for general practitioners and making the job a more attractive career.
"As general practitioners usually offer services in local communities, villages and towns, they are more familiar with local people's living habits and health conditions than a strange hospital in cities," Zeng said. "Therefore, general practitioners play a crucial role in local disease prevention and health care, and ease the huge workload of big public hospitals."
According to the guideline, China plans to have two or three competent general practitioners per 10,000 residents by 2020.
While medical schools are to open more programs to train general practitioners, teaching hospitals are encouraged to open general-practice departments.
The report of the 19th Communist Party of China National Congress has stressed improving community-level healthcare services, and strengthening the ranks of general practitioners.
In 2015, there were 189,000 general practitioners in China, accounting for only 6.2 percent of all doctors, with one general practitioner for every 10,000 citizens, according to the commission.