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High STD incidence in coming years
( 2004-01-13 15:44) (Xinhua)

The number of venereal disease cases is likely to top all contagious diseases in China in just three to five years, an expert on disease control in Beijing has predicted, putting the blame mainly on a "disordered medical market".

"With the rise of venereal disease cases, public demand for relevant medical services is increasing and the market is expanding," said Professor Zhang Junyan from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. "However, problems like approval of unqualified STD clinics, misguiding advertisements and unregulated examination and treatment prevail in this sector."

According to latest statistics, each year nearly 4 million people contract venereal diseases in China.

Officials with the Ministry of Health also concede that the current medical services for venereal diseases lacks quality and order. Main problems include ineffective cooperation between health institutions, high service charges, poor diagnoses by doctors, scarce use of condoms and a lack of psychological consultation for patients.

More Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) clinics are run by commercial organizations or individuals, which often leads to a lack of quality control and lax supervision, ministry sources said.

"If the public has no access to timely, regulated and effective treatment for sexual diseases, the situation will soon be out of control," Zhang added.

In some parts of the country, work has been done to regulate the local medical service market. In Shandong, Hubei and Sichuan provinces, laws and regulations have been enacted to tighten up the examination and approval of medical institutions treating sexually transmitted diseases.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health has also pledged to further strengthen the training of medical workers and improve the technique of clinical diagnoses.

Experts also suggest more transparency be introduced in the pricing of medical services and medicines for venereal diseases and all advertisements relating to STD treatment be thoroughly checked and cleaned up.

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