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China to train more general practitioners in health care reform

BEIJING, May 23 (Xinhua) -- Vice Premier Li Keqiang has told the health care authorities Sunday to train more general practitioners for the expansion of basic health care coverage and improvement of grassroots medical services, a press release said Sunday.

Li, who is in charge of the national reform of health care system, made the remarks at a State Council, or Cabinet, meeting on expanding the reform on Friday in Beijing.

The meeting came one year after China launched its massive health care reform, which seeks to provide adequate and affordable health care services to all. The State Council issued a circular last month detailing specific goals and steps for future reforms.

Li pledged to expand the coverage of basic health care services for a universal basic health care system, and to raise the reimbursement ratio of medical fees for patients.

Li stressed the importance of grassroots medical institutions in urban communities and rural villages, which he said should be the primary places where local residents should go when they are ill.

To achieve that, he said the government should enhance the service at those institutions by providing more funding, resources and medical professionals.

And "it was imperative to train more general practitioners for community-based services," said Li.

He also said medical authorities should optimize the system of bidding and purchase of essential drugs to curb overpricing of medicines.

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