China is planning to extend family doctor services to the entire population by 2020 and ensure more convenient health services for residents who have signed contracts with family doctors.
In 2016, 200 Chinese cities that are piloting public hospital reform will introduce family doctor service contracts, according to a guideline issued on June 6, which also encourages other regions to conduct similar pilot programs.
Priority groups include seniors, pregnant women, children, the handicapped, patients with chronic diseases like hypertension, diabetes and tuberculosis, as well as those with severe mental disorders, said the guideline issued by the medical reform office under the State Council, National Health and Family Planning Commission and four other agencies.
By 2017, more than 30 percent of the entire population, including over 60 percent of the priority groups, will be able to enjoy contractual services from family doctors, according to the guideline.
Family doctors, including general practitioners registered with grassroots health institutions, qualified doctors at township clinics and village doctors, provide basic medical care and other health services for residents.