China to train more pediatricians

Updated: 2016-02-24 20:50


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BEIJING - One downside of the two-child policy will be a shortfall of pediatricians, according to a health official.

Jin Shengguo, from the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), said at a press conference Wednesday that China will strive to increase the number of pediatricians to 140,000 -- 0.6 pediatricians for every 1,000 children -- by 2020, up from the current 118,000 pediatricians.

The country's 35,950 health institutions with pediatric departments receive 471 million outpatient visits annually, and provide care to 21.62 million inpatients on average, according to the NHFPC.

In per capita terms, each pediatrician has to see 17 outpatients every day, more than double the average of other specialists.

To ease the shortfall, the country will improve the training of pediatric resident doctors, train doctors who shift to pediatric care, and provide bespoke courses, Jin said.

Song Yi, an official with the Ministry of Education (MOE), said the ministry is addressing the demand for pediatricians triggered by the introduction of the two-child policy.

Song said the MOE requires the nation's top 38 medical schools to enroll more students on post-graduate pediatric courses, and aims to have at least one higher learning institute in each region offering undergraduate pediatric courses.