Women, children hospitals poorly equipped: report

Updated: 2011-03-19 14:59
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BEIJING - Less than three percent of China's county-level healthcare institutions for women and children have adequate equipment, according to a China Youth Daily report on Saturday.

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Only 2.72 percent of more than 2,700 such institutions met the requirement on 19 categories of basic equipment, the newspaper cited an investigation by political advisors from the China Association for Promoting Democracy (CAPD) and Chinese Peasants and Workers Democratic Party (CPWDP).

Major inadequacy was found in otology, ophthalmology and stomatology divisions, the report said.

Most facilities in the grassroots institutions were outdated and thus could no longer ensure successful services, said the report.

The investigation also found common inadequacy of housing and staffing for women and children healthcare institutions across the country, especially in the less-developed western regions.

In 2009, China met the target on the mortality rate of the under-five-year-old group as set in the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations with a decline of 71.8 percent based on the 1991 level.

But its reported progress on cutting the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) is still behind the goal of three-quarter reduction. The ratio in 2009 was 31.9 per 100,000, which was 66.4 percent lower than in 1990, according to statistics from the All China Women's Federation.

Skilled personnel, resources and management of specialized healthcare institutions are the most important factors contributing MMR reduction, said Wen Lianli, a senior official with the CPWDP, citing a survey on avoidable maternal mortality in 2009.

Earlier this month, both the CAPD and CPWDP, two non-communist parties, submitted proposals calling for more government funds and resources for these initiatives during the annual session of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the country's top political advisory body.

The Chinese government has promised in its newly adopted five-year development plan to lower its MMR to 22 per 100,000 by 2015.