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Vice-minister details progress in mental health services

By Wang Xiaoyu | | Updated: 2023-12-27 17:36
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China has improved access to mental health services and treatment in recent years, a senior health official said on Tuesday.

Lei Haichao, vice-minister of the National Health Commission, said the central leadership had allocated 10.6 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) for renovating or building 540 mental health facilities and equipping 600 general health institutions with devices used in psychiatric departments.

He released the details while delivering a report on mental health work to a session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.

By 2021, 92.4 percent of primary schools and 95 percent of junior high schools had their own full-time or part-time mental health teachers. Over 95 percent of colleges had also been equipped with mental health professionals, with a teacher-student ratio of no less than 1 to 4,000.

Authorities have also added nearly 20 psychiatric drugs to the national drug reimbursement list and made efforts to reduce costs through price negotiations with drug manufacturers.

Lei said more efforts will be made to bolster the development of psychiatric hospitals and mental health departments at general hospitals, establish more training programs to nurture mental health experts and push forward with the development of community-based rehabilitation services for mental health patients with severe conditions.

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