The State Council General Office on March 23 issued a document to solicit opinions on creating teams of rural doctors.
The document focuses on practical problems facing rural doctors, and ways to deepen the medical and health system reform.
It proposed to reform the service model and mechanism to promote motivation, enhance the supervision of healthcare services and improve policies related to subsidies, pension and training for rural doctors.
The document also proposed a main goal - within a decade, a new project will have trained a team of rural doctors who obtained qualifications from a secondary vocational school, or a higher level qualification, and will have licenses for the level of assistant doctors or above.
Additionally, their benefits should be ensured, and a high-quality rural doctor team that can meet the local requirements should be established.
Specific measures in the document:
First: To clarify the function and duties of the team. Rural doctors are mainly responsible for providing public services and basic medical services to local residents. They also undertake other work commissioned by health and family planning departments. There should be at least one rural doctor for every one thousand people.
Second: To enhance administration of licenses. The process for issuing licenses for the team should be strictly regulated, to strengthen the service quality supervision. Evaluations should also be carried out regularly.
Third: To optimize the structure of qualifications. Nurture secondary and senior vocational school students, offering them free three-year courses, so as to meet the requirements of village clinics. Rural doctors can also attend medical schools to receive an academic education.
Outstanding students who qualify as doctors and assistant doctors can receive free training at provincial and municipal hospitals.
Fourth: To make a medical career more attractive. Students who qualify as doctors and assistant doctors will be given priority for positions in village clinics. The authorities should also promote an integrated administration pilot project and offer further training.
Fifth: To change the service mode. Explore and establish services concerning rural doctors and local residents. Establish a licensed assistant general practitioner system in rural areas.
Sixth: To guarantee a decent income for the team. The newly added 5 yuan per person subsidy for basic public health services in 2014 and 2015 will be used as government purchasing services to assist rural doctors. Doctors working in remote and poor areas will receive more subsidies.
Seventh: To establish and improve elderly care policies.
Eighth: To improve the work environment and conditions for the team. Support construction of clinics and equipment purchase. Establish a risk management mechanism for rural doctors.